January 6 - At a time when coaches across Britain are receiving cuts in funding, UK Athletics has been strongly criticised after it was revealed that chief executive Niels de Vos received a 55 per cent pay increase during 2012.
De Vos, who has been in the role since 2007, received a £90,000 ($148,000/€108,000) bonus in his salary for the 2012-2013 tax year to take his total salary to £254,994 ($418,000/€307,000) in comparison with £164,326 ($269,000/€198,000) the previous year.
This came in the same year a number of coaches were made redundant as UK Athletics moved to centralise its coaching support at the National Performance Institute at Loughborough, while funds have also declined for volunteer coaches.
This has provoked a barrage of criticism from current and former athletes and, in particular, from British javelin record holder Goldie Sayers, who after several injury ravaged years was only returned to Natinal Lottery funding after lodging an appeal in 2013.
The 2011 European Indoor 3,000 metres champion Helen Clitheroe also replied, by tweeting "unreal", while hammer thrower Sarah Holt described the news as "unbelievable".
Several UK Athletics employed figures lost their jobs at the end of 2012, including sprint coaches Tony Lester and Michael Afilaka and endurance coach George Gandy, coach of 1500m runner Lisa Dobriskey when she won a silver medal at the 2009 World Championships.
Toni Minichiello, coach of the London 2012 Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill, was initially released after declining to make the move from Sheffield to Loughborough, although he has now rejoined the set-up in a reduced role.
UK Athletics are yet to offer an official response to the accusations.
However, insidethegames understands, while the quoted salary figures are accurate, they are due to a "one off milestone bonus" promised after five years of service in de Vos' original contract, and no such bonus will be awarded for next year.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
February 2013: Mike Rowbottom: British Athletics - meet the new brand; it's a bit like the old brand