In the speech to students of his former Oxford University college in Keble, he said: "Sport England is referred to by some of us in the sport as the department for walks in the woods.
"Why spend £150 million ($241 million/€185 million) for a very small return?"
De Vos was clearly criticising Places People Play, which is the £150 million ($241 million/€185 million) National Lottery programme being delivered by Sport England, but Price feels such comments are completely unfounded.
"We are getting a really good return on our investment," she told insidethegames.
"We are getting fantastic response from the clubs.
"There are clubs that would be closing or losing teams or losing fixtures if they didn't have this investment and we evaluate this very carefully.
"So I'm very confident we are a getting a good return.
"It is also worth remembering that the £150 million ($241 million/€185 million) is extra, over and above, what we invest the rest of the time."
Sport England is the biggest investor of athletics behind UK Sport, who fund the elite end.
It is set to invest up to £25 million ($40 million/€31 million) in athletics over the next four years.
"We invest over £200 million ($322 million/€246 million) a year in sport and a lot of that is going into the public sphere," said Price.
"So there is a really big investment going in there and it would be nice if people remembered that."
The gaffe was one of several De Vos made in his speech, in which he also described the multi-million-pound investments in hi-tech Olympic sports such as cycling, rowing and sailing as "technological doping".
He also turned his ire on the Education Secretary Michael Gove, describing his intention to remove the two hours per week of compulsory sport in state junior schools as "single mindedly the most stupid piece of dogma that has been imposed upon anybody in a very long time.
"Two hours a week for kids is laughable and would be completely unacceptable in most other European countries."
De Vos also goes seriously off message about the future of the Olympic Stadium when he claims "it would cost less to knock it down and rebuild it".
He is also critical of the performance of Britain's athletics team at London 2012 but claims that few people noticed because of the performances of Mo Farah, who won the 5,000 and 10,000 metres, Jessica Ennis, the heptathlon champion, and Greg Rutherford, winner of the long jump.
All the medals were won in the space of 45 minutes on "Super Saturday".
"In athletics everyone thought we had a great Games...But we didn't have great Games," he told the audience.
"We had quite a bad Games.
"Things didn't go the way we wanted them to go.
"We didn't get as many finalists as we wanted or personal best performances and there were some spectacular under performances."
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