By Duncan Mackay

Spanish Athletics Federation logoJanuary 22 - A cut of nearly 25 per cent in the budget of the Spanish Athletics Federation (RFEA) has been agreed because of the economic crisis facing the country.

The General Assembly of the RFEA approved a budget for 2013 of €7,963,967 (£6,696,897/$10,608,444), a cut of 24.9 per cent on last year's figure and half of what was available in 2008. 

It means that Spain's top athletes will receive 35.48 per cent less funding than last year. 

The budget includes a grant of €2,912,788 (£2,449,371/$3,879,757) from the Sports Council, 34.45 lower than the previous year, and a further €421,500 (£354,422/$561,412) from the ADO plan, the Spanish Olympic Committee programme to help support Spain's top athletes that had been originally established in 1988 to help them prepare for the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. 

Those were Spanish athletics' most successful Games when they won four medals, including gold for Fermin Cacho in the 1500 metres and Daniel Plaza in the 20 kilometres walk. 

Fermin Cacho wins Olympic 1500m Barcelona 1992Fermin Cacho won the Olympic gold medal in the 1500 metres at Barcelona 1992, arguably Spanish athletics' finest moment

But Spanish athletes failed to win a medal at London 2012 for the second consecutive Games. 

The RFEA's losses last year rose to €242,342 (£203,771/$322,784) from €232,994 (£195,915/$310,332) the previous year.

The Federation has reduced its number of employees from 63 to 40 and Jose Maria Odriozola, the President of RFEA, has had his salary cut by €16.416 (£13.803/$21.865) to €56,898 (£47,846/$75,784), a 22.11 per cent reduction.

"The regular budget of the Federation reached a peak of €15 million in 2008, and since then began to decline to below €8 million by 2013," said Odriozola. 

"We're going to bite the bullet for this economic desert crossing and hope next year we will be better."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]