Kadeena Cox won gold medals in athletics and cycling in Rio but she’s now had her UK Sport funding suspended while she takes part in a Channel 4 programme.
Cox will appear on ‘The Jump’ – a winter slopes programme which sees celebrities and athletes try their hand at sports such as skeleton, bobsleigh, snowskates, ski cross, and giant slalom.
Last year’s series saw seven injuries, some of which were serious and British Athletics have decided to halt funding, with the support of British Cycling (an athlete can only have support from one body at a time).
Cox, who is 25 and suffers from multiple sclerosis will join other athletes such as Bradley Wiggins, Olympic taekwondo champion Jade Jones and Rio silver medal-winning gymnast Louis Smith on the show.
A statement from British Athletics said: “Due to the nature of the activities on the show, the athlete cannot continue to be supported by the WCPP (World Class Performance Programme) during this time. Her UK Sport funding will be suspended until she returns to training and proves her fitness.”
Medical teams from both British Athletics and British Cycling are believed to have advised Cox not to take part, however British Cycling did add: “Kadeena enjoyed a fantastic 2016, making history by winning Paralympic gold in both athletics and cycling, and we respect her decision to take some time away from the sport to pursue the opportunities that her success has afforded her.”
Both organisations wished Cox well and said they look forward to her return after the show. UK Sport say that the decision to halt or continue funding came down to the individual sports body involved. Regarding Jade Jones’ inclusion in the line up, GB Taekwondo have expressed reservations and advised the 23-year-old of the risks involved – but she will still receive her normal funding.
The show has claimed many victims. Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle suffered an injury and needed surgery to have fractured vertebrae fused together. Former swimmer Rebecca Adlington suffered a shoulder injury, former Holby City actress Tina Hobley sustained knee, shoulder and arm injuries and Made In Chelsea star Mark-Francis Vandelli broke his ankle. Athlete Linford Christie pulled a hamstring, ex-EastEnders actor Joe Swash chipped a bone in his shoulder, Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding injured a ligament and model Heather Mills hurt her knee and thumb.
Read our interview with Cox, following her BBC SPOTY nomination, here.