The senior executive payroll at the Australian Olympic Committee has more than doubled since the Sydney Olympics even though our Games medal haul has halved.
Since 2002, the combined salaries of the AOC’s most senior executives have more than doubled – from $1.09 million to $2.43 million last year – as their ranks have swelled.
In 2002 AOC executive chairman John Coates and five other managers shared $1.09 million.
Last year, $2.43 million was shared by eight senior executives, including Mr Coates – who earned $689,634 – and chief executive Fiona de Jong, who was paid $452,145.
At the same time our medal haul has fallen from a record high of 58 at the 2000 Sydney Games to less than half that at Rio.
By Thursday evening (AEST) our team had won just 25 medals in Rio, making it the least successful Games since Barcelona in 1992.
The results are unremarkable, even alarming, given state and federal governments have thrown more than $600 million at funding high-performance Olympic sports in the four years since the London Games in 2012.
In addition to the fat wad of taxpayers’ dollars, Olympic sports also receive hundreds of millions from corporate sponsors and the International Olympic Committee.
But since Athens in 2004, the big money has not been enough to keep Australia in the top five-performing nations, which is the stated benchmark of the Australian Sports Commission (ASC).
The ASC is the body responsible for doling out taxpayers’ cash to each Olympic sport’s high performance programs.
Whether we measure performance by the haul of gold medals or total medals won, Australia is now on the cusp of slipping out of the top 10 at Rio.
Olympic bureaucrats score pay rises
Despite the consistent slide in Olympic performance since 2000, the aggregate rewards flowing to top sports administrators have ballooned.
In the last 16 years the biggest individual beneficiary in the local Olympic Movement has been Mr Coates, chair of the AOC since 1990. He has collected $7.05 million in consulting fees and allowances since 2000.
But his total compensation from the Olympic industry is much higher because he has also been receiving fees for being an executive member of the International Olympic Committee.
It is not known what his combined earnings have been because the IOC has never disclosed with any precision the real pay of its senior office bearers.
In 2015, as executive chairman of the AOC, Mr Coates was paid $237,000 more than the chief executive Fiona de Jong.
Mr Coates’ salary package has more than doubled since 2002 when he was collecting $332,515 from the AOC.