altApril 9 - UK Athletics has been accused of jeopardising British athletes preparations for this year's World Championships with plans to relocate them from Loughborough University, Sebastian Coe's alma mater.


The sport’s governing body, which currently operates four high performance centres in Loughborough, Birmingham and two in London, is currently carrying out a major reorganisation.


It is widely expected that UK Athletics, under its new head coach Charles van Commenee, will decide to concentrate its resources on its centres in Birmingham and one in London, probably Lea Valley.


Loughborough has produced more top athletes than any other university in Britain.


Besides Coe, athletes who have studied there have included world marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe and Steve Backley, the three-time European javelin champion.


The current crop of athletes is led by Lisa Dobriskey, who finished fourth in the 1500 metres at the Olympics in Beijing last year, and 20-year-old Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, the former youth and world 100m champion who is considered one of Britain's outstanding hopes for a medal gold at London 2012.


Aikines-Aryeetey said: “I’m against moving.


“Loughborough has some of the best facilities in the country.


"I’ve trained elsewhere and this is where I want to be.


“I’ve made a life for myself here.


"In the current financial climate I really don’t want to be putting my house up for sale.


“I’m just a puppet in all this really.


"The decision needs to be made in the next six months, then the likes of me, Martyn Rooney, Lisa Dobriskey, Steve Lewis and Kate Dennison can show what we can do at the World Championships.


alt“Then we can say to everyone that it was Loughborough that helped us be the best in the world.”


Tim Garfield, the head of sports operations at Loughborough University, said that no final decision had yet been made but insisted that even if UK Athletics withdraw their support it will not affect the future of the performance centre.


He said: “Discussions are still taking place between UK Athletics, the athletes themselves and we too are part of those talks.


“We think we will hear something over the next three or four weeks.”


“I don’t think it will make all that much difference.


"The facilities are ours, not UK Athletics.


“We have an agreement that will continue that if UK Athletics needs to use the facilities then they can do.


“It might have an impact on certain future athletes choosing Loughborough but not much as the kind of athletes that we attract are very focused on what they want.


“It’s not the end of the world it’s just that we might have to work in a different climate than we do now.”