By Tom Degun

July 18 - Winter sports in Britain should accept the controversial no-compromise approach to funding if they want to be taken seriously, Olympic gold medallist Rhona Martin has claimed.

The decision by UK Sport - revealed exclusively on insidethegames - to only fund sports for Sochi 2014 that have the potential to win medals is set to put them on collision course with the British Olympic Association (BOA).

The BOA have called for "systematic changes" in how the team is prepared for the Games following its failure to meet the "stretch target" of three medals at Vancouver earlier this year.

Amy Williams claimed Britain's only medal, when she won gold in the bob skeleton, who are set to benefit most from the new UK Sport approach.

Curling is also expected to continue to be well-funded for Sochi as they have performed consistently well in the Olympics since Martin led Britain to victory at the Games in Salt Lake City in 2002.

Snowboard and skiing could be the biggest losers as UK Sport adopt the same approach to the funding of the winter sports as they do the summer ones where cycling, rowing and sailing receive the most money because they deliver the most medals.

Martin told insidethegames: "If Britain considers performance at the Winter Games important, then we should be approaching performance there in the same way we approach it in the Summer Games.

"Medals need a no-compromise approach and that is as important on snow and ice as it is on the track or in the velodrome."

Martin did concede, however, that the decision will make it harder for winter sports that suffer a cut in funding to establish themselves among the top-ranked nations.

She said: "The winter sports will need to look at what this announcement actually means to the bottom line investment and the impact on performance, but if it does mean reduction in funding, it is going to be harder to win a medal in the future."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
July 2010: 
Exclusive - Britain's winter sports facing cuts in Sochi 2014 build-up
July 2010: BOA call for "systematic change" in preparations for Sochi 2014
July 2010: British Winter Olympians more in debt and unhappy with governing bodies than ever
March 2010: UK Sport chiefs admit Vancouver haul was "disappointing"
February 2010: UK Sport to launch review after Britain falls short of medal target