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Financial crisis could prevent some British athletes from competing in Vancouver

January 21, 2010 |  9:55 am

Chemmy Britain's alpine skiing and snowboarding federation could go bankrupt before the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, threatening the participation of more than a dozen athletes.

British Olympic Assn. officials say they are preparing a contingency plan in case the British Ski and Snowboard Federation goes into bankruptcy. The federation reports it will go bankrupt unless it receives $326,000 by the end of the month.

As many as 15 athletes, including alpine skier Chemmy Alcott and snowboarder Zoe Gillings, could miss the Olympics if the federation's financial situation isn't resolved. But  British Olympic Assn. officials say they are dedicated to making sure the federation's problems do not prevent athletes from competing.

"We are in communication with the relevant team leaders and officials to reassure them that we are monitoring the situation closely and doing everything we can to support them," said Andy Hunt, chief executive of the British Olympic Assn.

-- Austin Knoblauch

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Britain's Chemmy Alcott competes in the giant slalom during a World Cup event in Aspen, Colo., on Nov. 28. Credit: Emmanuel Dunand / AFP/Getty Images