The International Gymnastics Federation will not offer prize money to Olympic medalists now or in the future, its president Morinari Watanabe said Friday.

He voiced the stance in a phone interview with Kyodo News after athletics' world governing body earlier in April announced its plan to give $50,000 to gold winners in Paris this summer, making it the first international federation to award prize money at an Olympics.

The total World Athletics prize fund of $2.4 million will come from the International Olympic Committee's revenue share allocation that the federation receives every four years.

Daiki Hashimoto of Japan competes in the men's all-around final at the world gymnastics championships in Antwerp, Belgium, on Oct. 5, 2023. (Kyodo)

World Athletics' decision may have been welcomed by athletes but has been criticized by some other sporting bodies including cycling and rowing, which see the move as going against the ideals of the Olympics.

While declining to comment on how each international federation's allocated funds should be used, Watanabe said, "The FIG uses this revenue to support the development of gymnastics around the world, and in developing countries in particular."

Morinari Watanabe. (Kyodo)

"Many developing countries do not have enough gymnastics apparatus, or are using out-of-date apparatus."

The gymnastics chief stressed the need to invest in equipment, as well as training and education for coaches and judges in member federations.

"Beautiful flowers need good soil to bloom," he said. "I believe that IF's job is to invest in the soil in which my beautiful flowers can grow."

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