Droitwich's world champion swimmer has called for Olympic medalists to be paid cash in every sport.

Richards, a gold medalist in the men’s 200m freestyle and Olympic champion in the 4x200 metre freestyle relay in Tokyo, believes the International Olympic Committee (IOC) should offer athletes cash for Olympic medals in every sport, to match the recent advancement by World Athletics.

For the first time track and field athletes will receive £40,000 for winning a gold medal at the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympic Games.



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Although some nations offer medal bonuses, no similar arrangements are being made in the other sports on the Olympic programme.

Critics argue that such a move could devalue the Olympics.

The 21-year-old champion swimmer, who has been announced as a member of Team GB's swimming team for the upcoming games, addressed IOC president Thomas Bach directly, urging him to create a balance where Olympic victories are better valued.

He said: "Winning Olympic gold is incredible and that’s why we go, we go knowing we’re not going to make a lot of money off the back of it.

“The Olympics make crazy money every four years - big business - but the athletes aren’t able to win any of that. If the IOC stepped in and offered a blanket amount, that would make a lot of athletes a lot happier."

He added: “There are athletes who are struggling to make ends meet, week in week out, and struggling to put food on their table.

"You see stories of athletes going bankrupt to go to the Olympics and I don’t think that’s right."

Richards, who invests in the stock market himself, is currently saving for a house, as well as preparing for a wedding after the games with fellow swimmer Emily Large.

Aldi and Team GB's Nearest and Dearest programme will provide support to Richards as he prepares for the Paris event.

The programme works to maximise support and minimise distractions for athletes, helping them focus on their performance.

The swimmer, who was 18-year-old at the time, made an impressive Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020, bagging gold in the 200m freestyle relay with a heroic third leg.

Heading to Paris 2024, Richards is a top medal hope in the pool and is preparing for numerous individual and relay events.

He has form on his side too, with last week’s AquaticsGB Championships seeing Richards comfortably take 200 metre gold ahead of fellow Olympic and world champion Duncan Scott in silver.