March 10, 2016

LONDON (AP) Paralympic great Tanni Grey-Thompson quit the London organizing committee of the 2017 world athletics championships on Thursday, the fourth resignation by a board member in two months.

The internal turmoil became public last month when Heather Hancock and Martin Stewart quit the board followed by the sudden exit of managing director Sally Bolton.

Grey-Thompson is the first official to provide detailed reasons for her resignation, citing a feeling that she was being ignored within London 2017.

''For me it was just all getting a bit tokenistic and it's not fun or interesting,'' the 11-time Paralympic wheelchair athletics champion said after addressing the Sport Industry Breakfast Club in London. ''I don't might mind the fight and trying to challenge people about disability athletics is what I'm meant to do.

''But I got tired of saying, `And what about (the Paralympic athletes)?' It needs to be someone else because I don't feel I was having the impact in terms of taking that discussion on.''

Grey-Thompson, a member of the House of Lords, said she felt she was ''going round in circles'' trying to provide an all-round contribution to an organizing committee headed by U.K. Athletics chairman Ed Warner.

''I felt I had run out of energy in terms of having to have that fight,'' Grey-Thompson said. ''I was being seen as the person to carry the torch of inclusion. I can offer more than that and other people can as well. It just felt it wasn't place for me to be.''

London won the bid to stage the championships at the Olympic Stadium in a 2011 vote. The Paralympic event will be staged in July 2017 ahead of the Aug. 5-13 IAAF championships.

''Both events will be fine. Will they be the best they can absolutely be right now? I'm not sure,'' Grey-Thompson said.

''It's really good to have the two world championships in the same place, that's massively important. But it just felt we were spending lots of time discussing things that weren't operational.''


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