The United States Gymnastics Federation gave its national team athletes less than .1 percent of its multimillion-dollar budget, it was reported.
The athletes received $6,000 in direct cash assistance for training and living expenses, the Los Angeles Times said in Tuesday's editions. That contrasts with other federations that directly gave their athletes up to 11 percent.The skiing federation, for example, gave $1 million of its $9 million budget to its athletes, the Times said.
The USGF does not have a formal cash assistance program, the Times said.
A U.S. Justice Department review of alleged financial irregularities by the USGF is under way after working members of the sport collected and turned over financial documents that covered a three-year time span.
However, no charges have been brought against the USGF and there were no allegations that the USGF failed to give its athletes financial support.
According to information obtained by the Times from the USGF, only two U.S. team athletes were given grants of $3,000 each.
Mike Jacki, USGF executive director, and Mike Donahue, USGF president, said that although the USGF does not at present offer athletes direct cash, most of the federation's money is allocated to the program by providing national and international competitions and training clinics for more than 160,000 gymnasts.
Jacki had proposed a cash assistance progam in May and if that proposal is accepted, a program will be in place next year.
The newspaper reported that criticism of how funds are spent stems from Jacki's success in more than tripling USGF revenue and doubling the staff since he was named to his post in 1983. At that time, USGF owed approximately $200,000.
Under National Collegiate Athletic Association regulations, if an athlete receives cash for performing in a sport, the athlete is ineligible for collegiate competition in that sport.
The U.S. national team male gymnasts eligible for cash assistance are either college graduates or have voluntarily given up college eligibility, as is the case with four national team female gymnasts.
The USGF said it plans to give $1,500 for training expenses to each gymnast who makes the 1988 Olympic team.