Nicholas Jones is a New Zealand Herald political reporter.

Millions for high-performance sport in this year's Budget

In a pre-Budget announcement Sport Minister Jonathan Coleman said $20 million over four years would go to high-performance sport and Drug Free Sport NZ. Photo / Mark Mitchell
In a pre-Budget announcement Sport Minister Jonathan Coleman said $20 million over four years would go to high-performance sport and Drug Free Sport NZ. Photo / Mark Mitchell

High-performance sport is one of the winners from this month's Budget. Millions more is to be spent on the country's top athletes.

In a pre-Budget announcement in Auckland, Sport Minister Jonathan Coleman said $20 million over four years would go to high-performance sport and Drug Free Sport NZ.

Dr Coleman said this year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro were shaping up to be New Zealand's most successful yet.

"Success on the world sporting stage is important as it inspires Kiwis to participate in sport, which leads to a more active, healthier population and ultimately better social outcomes," he said.

"Sport is a key part of our national identity, and success at the top level also helps to promote New Zealand on a wider international stage."

The Budget will give $16 million over four years to High Performance Sport NZ, on top of the Government's annual $62 million investment in the organisation.

An additional $4 million over four years will go to Drug Free Sport NZ.

"The integrity of sport is paramount," Dr Coleman said. "This extra funding will enable Drug Free Sport NZ to continue its anti-doping work, which plays a crucial role in safeguarding the integrity of New Zealand's sports system."

The funding boost comes as world sport reacts to a report in the New York Times that detailed doping by Russia at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, including 15 medal winners.

The report quoted Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of Russia's drug-testing laboratory, who alleged a number of cover-ups.

- NZ Herald

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