Having represented his nation earlier this year at the World Championship, pro triathlete Joe Skipper says he has now been asked by British Triathlon to pay his entry fee.
Back in May, Skipper raced for Team GB at the World Long Course Championship in Ibiza, where on a tough day out, he finished in 22nd and was the second British athlete across the line.
Now, six months down the line, Skipper shared on the Triathlon Mockery podcast that he’s been asked to pay his dues, suggesting the governing body are threatening to prevent him from getting his pro licence if he doesn’t.
Can you imagine Roger Federer paying to play Wimbledon?
Explaining the situation he says he now finds himself in to the astonishment of co-host Tom Oosterdijk, Skipper claimed that in no other professional sport would this happen.
“I’ve got British Triathlon hounding me, telling me I owe them £243 for an entry fee to flipping Ibiza, the race I did at Long Course Worlds. “I’m just like, how flipping tight are you guys? You’ve got an elite team, you send elite athletes to race and then you get them to pay their own entry.
“What elite sport in the world sends their athletes to a race and expects them to pay their own entry. Can you imagine Roger Federer turning up to Wimbledon and he’s told he has to pay £240 for his entry to play on Centre Court.”
Skipper went on to criticise the amount of funding that he believes British Triathlon trickle back down to the professional side of the sport and claimed the governing body are threatening to stop him from getting a race licence if he doesn’t pay up for Ibiza.
“I’ve even heard that some of elite team, the short course Olympic team, have to buy their own trisuit to go and compete for Team GB. The only reason they [British Triathlon] get any funding is because they’re supposed to be paying for athletes to get good results.
“They’re meant to encourage people to do the sport and get more people into the grassroots side of things, that’s the only reason they get money in the first place. Yet the athletes get bugger all. They’re saying I am not getting my pro licence if I don’t pay it. If I want to race under a British Triathlon licence, I have to pay the fee.”
British Triathlon confirm loss of pro status possibility
Having reached out to British Triathlon, the governing body said that whilst threatening to take away Skipper’s licence isn’t something they would do, the British long distance star could lose his pro status if outstanding fees aren’t paid.
They told us: “We are not able to comment on fees owed by individual athletes, however all athletes are made aware before they compete of any race fees they will need to pay. If these are not paid, we do follow up with the athlete and allow them time to pay any debt.
“We would not threaten to remove pro status but would advise an athlete that this is a possibility if outstanding fees aren’t paid. We will always keep dialogue open with athletes and offer them every opportunity to maintain pro status.”