The German athletes group are to receive funding ©Athletes Germany

A German athlete panel seeking genuine independence from sporting bodies will receive start-up funding of €225,000 (£198,000/$265,000) from the country's Government, it has been announced.

The money is expected to be spent towards hiring around three full-time employees for the Athletes Germany body, which currently also operates as the Athletes' Commission of the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) chaired by fencer Max Hartung.

It is hoped that the funding will "fulfill the urgent desire of the athletes to be able to build their own, professional representation".

It means they will no longer be reliant on administrative and financial assistance from the DOSB in what, they hope, will become a new model followed by other athlete panels around the world.

The payment must still be officially confirmed in the German budget on June 27 but was announced by the Sports Committee and has received support from major coalition partners.

It is due to last for the remainder of 2018 and will, the organisation hope, be followed by similar donations in 2019 and beyond.

Current plans are for the money to be spent on a chief executive, a communications officer and a legal representative.

"This development is overwhelming and positive as we work towards democratic development," the panel's vice-chair and kayaker Silke Kassner told insidethegames.

"We had good feedback internationally at last week's World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Athletes' Forum in Calgary and athletes are asking how we can establish such a development on an international level."

The German athlete group are to receive Government funding ©Getty Images
The German athlete group are to receive Government funding ©Getty Images

It is not expected that either Hartung or Kassner will be among those employed.

The panel sent an open letter to their fellow German, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach, last month criticising the current ways by which sporting bodies support athletes.

This included a call to grant 25 per cent of revenues directly to athletes and a further 10 per cent to WADA.

Bach has invited critical German athletes to Lausanne so he can "discuss and explain" the ways in which they support and finance Olympians.

This meeting has been arranged for September 19 in Lausanne.

DOSB President Alfons Hörmann has also been invited.

In reality, however, the IOC and other sports bodies will oppose changes to the current system as they will see it as a threat to the autonomy of sport.

IOC Athletes' Commission chair Kirsty Coventry has also delivered a defence of the IOC system and claimed their Olympic Solidarity model directly contributed to her own success as a seven-time Olympic medal winning swimmer.

The IOC Athletes' Commission is elected and is in theory independent, although it is staffed by members of the IOC administration and, in recent years, invariably follows the whims of the IOC leadership.

An Athletes' Charter is currently being developed by the panel to grant athletes more formal rights.