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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 December 2007, 11:46 GMT
Costs hit GB Olympic baseball bid
Mike Nickeas of Team GB
Team GB catcher Mike Nickeas may be forced to miss the Olympics
Britain's baseball team's chances of competing in next summer's Olympics have been hit by financial problems.

They are due to compete in a qualifying tournament in Taiwan in March where the top three will book an Olympic spot.

But the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) solidarity fund has rejected a grant request, leaving the sport seeking a benefactor or sponsor.

A spokesman for British Baseball told the Daily Telegraph: "We are relying on a goodwill gesture from someone now."

An impressive performance at the European Championships, where Great Britain finished second, gave them the chance to compete for an Olympic berth in March.

And with baseball due to be removed from the programme by the IOC in 2012, it could be the last opportunity to compete at the Games.

606: DEBATE

With UK Sport not prepared to finance the trip to the European championships in Barcelona the IOC's solidarity fund financed the side's costs and their decision to turn down the latest request leaves the British team desperately short of options.

Team spokesman Bob Fromer said: "There aren't a lot of avenues left open to us. We cannot give a sponsor 50,000 worth of commercial benefit."

A spokesman for UK Sport said they were not able to finance the team because their funding had to be targeted at potential medal winners. "This may seem harsh, but we don't have a limitless supply of money available and we need to ensure that every penny counts. In this instance, baseball does not meet the required criteria," said the spokesman.

SEE ALSO
Team GB target Beijing berth
04 Dec 07 |  Baseball
Baseball - the basics
24 Mar 04 |  US Sport
Baseball jargonbuster
26 Oct 05 |  Baseball


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