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Wallabies great slams Olympic disgrace amid government sports funding scandal

Wallabies legend Phil Kearns has hit out at the government over the sports funding scandal, saying it’s a “slap in the face” for our Olympians.

Then-sports minister Bridget McKenzie has been accused of allocating $100 million in community sports grants to marginal seats ahead of the election.

There are calls for her the Deputy Nationals leader to resign and even a legal case mounting on behalf of clubs that missed out on funds.

But Rugby Union great, turned commentator, Phil Kearns tells Chris Smith the scandal is “a slap in the face for Olympic athletes that are absolutely battling going into an Olympic year”.

“A lot of this money went to rugby league and AFL clubs and, you know a sport which gets over $2 billion in television rights, why are we giving them money?

“Where are the codes stepping up? Where are they spending their money? What are they doing?

“These people are out there striving, they’re working their guts out to try and do the best for themselves and for their country and we’re letting them down.”

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A constitutional law expert is suggesting the federal government’s sports grants program may not just be ‘pork barreling’ but says it could be unconstitutional.

Professor Anne Twomey tells Chris Smith, the Minister didn’t actually have the power to decide who gets the grant.

“On the face of it, there’s prima facie concerns for the fact that she simply didn’t have the power to be the one deciding who got the grant.”

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Image: Getty/Mark Metcalfe