It's a bad time to be a young athlete at the moment, with British Olympic stars past and present lining up to question the next generation's appetite and attitude.
Heptathlete Kelly Sotherton weighed into the debate yesterday, less than a week after former Olympic 100 metres champion Linford Christie had accused the current crop of track and field hopefuls of being soft and motivated by money, rather than medals.
The Birchfield Harrier was equally scathing, accusing some of her more youthful colleagues of using National Lottery funding as a source of income, rather than as a springboard to on-track success and financial self-sufficiency.
"There are some people who don't use it effectively and see it an end, rather than a means," the Athens bronze medallist said, echoing Christie's complaint that many youngsters are basically getting paid to keep fit.
The 28-year-old argued that she and triple jumper Nathan Douglas, with whom she shares Birmingham's High Performance Centre, had used Lottery money to make their mark on the sport before going on to earn their living as athletes.
But Sotherton voiced concerns that many others had stalled and become comfortable picking up funding without producing the goods in competition.
"Funding should only be for a short period of time before you move on to the next stage. People think that they will get on it for two or three years and not have to do much for it," she said.
"There is a tendency for athletes to get funding, but not move on. It's not with my generation of athletes, around the age of 25 upwards. It's the younger athletes."
This is a situation which she believes is easily rectifiable: it is time to stop giving money to athletes straight out of school.
"They should not be getting funding, they should be finding out how hard it is to be an athlete," she claimed.
"They should still be doing education, a lot of people go to university, work hard and then get funding; now, people go straight into athletics without any qualifications."
Sotherton worked for several years as a debt collector before, in 2003, being told by her then-coach, Charles van Commenee, that she had to give up her job and devote all of her time to fulfilling her potential in the athletics world.
She spent a year on the bottom rung of funding - existing on £560 a month - until she broke into the world's top three with a brilliant performance in Gotzis in Austria and had her allowance supplemented before the Olympics.
"Lottery money only works if the person who gets it wants to succeed enough. I can name two examples where it has really worked," she continued.
"Myself - I proved a point. I got some Lottery money, it wasn't a lot, but I quit my job and dedicated myself for a year and it paid off.
"And Nathan Douglas - he got it last year, moved up here from Loughborough, committed himself to athletics and it paid off. His funding will go up and hopefully he will achieve a medal at the World Championships."
While Sotherton goes into those championships, starting in Helsinki on August 6, as a likely medallist, Douglas has only just broken through into the international elite with two recent personal bests and the third-best jump in the world this year during last weekend's World trials in Manchester.
According to Sotherton, that's exactly the way the system should be played: "There is no way someone of the age of 18 or 19 should be getting money to be a full-time athlete. Why should they?," she asked.
"They should be normal. I have always worked and that has given me a healthy balance. After that, you really appreciate athletics"