“I don’t see a valid reason” – Leeds Rhinos legend slams government over MND funding

Over the weekend the world lost a true warrior in the shape of Scotland rugby union legend Doddie Weir.

The 52-year-old died after a six year battle against Motor Neurone Disease.

This has led many to question why the £50 million promised by the government in the fight against the disease hasn’t been released yet.

Leeds Rhinos legend Kevin Sinfield, who has raised £7 million in the fight against MND after former teammate and good friend Rob Burrow was diagnosed.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast after Doddie’s passing, Sinfield himself questioned the government.

“I’d start by saying we would still be doing it regardless, that £50 million isn’t enough and it is for pure research so that human side, providing technology for people who are diagnosed, providing counselling service, a 24 hour help line for the MND community, the other side of the disease,” Sinfield said.

“The most important thing for someone who has been diagnosed is time, they’re running out of time. I can’t see any excuse or reason why that money is being held back.

“There isn’t one in my own mind, because these people are running out of time, if we’re going to help and make a difference, shift the dial on this disease, this money needs to be available sooner rather than later.

“I understand red tape and bureaucracy but I just don’t see a valid reason at this point.

“If you look at what our government have spent over the last two or three years in particular on other things, this is a drop in the ocean. That money is there and we want to provide hope and a future for this community.

“I don’t understand it.”

Prior to Doddie’s passing, after his latest challenge which involved Doddie and Burrow, Sinfield had said:

“Something I think about regularly, this has been a huge part of my life for a couple of years as has spending time with Rob.

“My concern is if that campaign hadn’t started a couple of years ago, where would we be?

“Rob and co have done brilliant work with government to secure £50 million in funding but why hasn’t that funding been handed over yet?

“I understand that with anything like this, there is an element of red tape but then I look at some of the other ways they have spent money and I don’t think they have been scrutinised in the same way this has. That’s what I don’t understand disappoints me because there is people dying and families are being ravaged and being left.

“I can’t see any valid reason why this money is being held back. This is important that this comes across and the scientists work together and we move the dial forward.

“The £50 million is for research and there is nothing in there that helps families and all those other things that people don’t think of.”

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