By Duncan Mackay

British Basketball with UK Sport logoFebruary 1 - UK Sport today reversed a decision to cut British Basketball's funding following a high-profile campaign waged by leading figures in the sport, including Chicago Bulls superstar Luol Deng.

But several other Olympic sports, including table tennis and indoor volleyball, will remain with zero funding after appeals to UK Sport were rejected.

British Basketball had protested vigorously after being told in December its funding was being cut from £8.6 million ($13.6 million/€10.6million) to zero.

This included Deng, Britain's best-known player, writing to Prime Minister David Cameron pleading for funding to be restored.

Patrick Baumann, the secretary general of the world governing body FIBA, had also flown to London to lobby on behalf of British Basketball.

After the decision to restore funding was announced he predicted that Britain could be among the world's leading basketball nations by the time of the 2020 Olympics.

Patrick Baumann signs basketball petitionSupport from FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann provided crucial in persuading UK Sport to restore funding to British Basketball

"I am thrilled for British Basketball and UK Sport's recognition and appreciation of the very strong case we presented," he said.

"The new funding will allow the sport to build on the progress and growth it has already made in a very short time and aim for a podium place in 2020."

Roger Moreland, British Basketball's performance chairm, praised the help Baumann had given their campaign.

"We are absolutely delighted with the decision of UK Sport today," said Moreland.

"They have acknowledged that we successfully presented compelling new performance data, which not only impressed the Board but made them recognise that we are potential podium contenders for 2020.

"They could see from our evidence and that supplied by Patrick Baumann from our International Federation that our sport has an upward trajectory in terms of both performance and participation.  

"The endorsement and support of FIBA also played a crucial part in our success by demonstrating through technical information, how much progress we have made over the last seven years as well as our position globally.

"We will now enter into a dialogue with UK Sport about the actual details and level of funding as well the support services required.  

"This is a momentous day for British basketball and everyone who is connected with the sports, whether players, fans or officials."

Wheelchair fencing has also been successful in an appeal - the awards for both it and basketball will be on a one-year conditional basis, with the next three years' funding released only if they meet strict performance criteria.

Wheelchair fencing BritainWheelchair fencing has had its funding restored after a successful appeal to UK Sport

"The two sports that were successful had new, recent information that was compelling, and changed our view about their medal potential for 2020," said Liz Nicholl, the chief executive of UK Sport.

Nicholl said the money would not be diverted from elsewhere, but would make it more risky that projected income from Lottery sales would cover all of UK Sport's outgoings.

The exact sums that the two sports are to received will be announced later.

"It is a reasonable risk but we would not want to go any further," said Nicholl.

Table tennis, indoor volleyball, sitting volleyball and wrestling will still receive zero funding despite pleas for a re-think. 

UK Sport will, however, look again at the award it has made to women's beach volleyball, to provide more support for the one pair that already receive some funding.

Weightlifting and powerlifting had also appealed for a funding increase but that was rejected.

Team GB volleyball v Russia London 2012Britain's volleyball teams competed in the Olympics for the first time at London 2012 but now the future is in doubt claims performance director Kenny Barton after losing its funding

Kenny Barton, British Volleyball's performance director, said the body would now be forced to withdraw teams from the World Championships.

"We will now be seeking legal advice," he said.

"We will now have to withdraw from the World Championship and probably get fined for that as well.

"As things stand I'm the last man in the office and will probably have to turn the lights out.

"They cut the head off the chicken with this and I am disappointed for British sport, not just volleyball."

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