Now comes the reckoning. UK Sport had been discussing the future for months with governing bodies, but talks have been in abeyance recently because of competitive Games action. "They will begin again post games, putting their business cases together," said a UKS spokesman yesterday. "A final decision will be made by our board in December."
Presumably they will wish to wait until after the BBC Sports Personality of the Year spectacular before delivering any bad news. It has long been felt that sport would fall into a black hole after the Paralympic closing ceremony. This view was expressed long before recession bit.
Basketball, volleyball and handball have received more than £13m over this four-year Olympic cycle: basketball £8.599m, volleyball £3.536m, and handball £2.924m. It seems unlikely that this can continue, but UKS is between a rock and a hard place. How can they deliver a legacy if funding is slashed?
Men's basketball went out with a bang, Team GB defeated China 90-58, their only win, albeit in a match with nothing but pride at stake. China were eighth in the last Games.
Scotland's Kevin Achara finally got significant court time, scoring 16 points and making three massive blocks. It was also the swan song for Paisley's Robert Archibald, the first Scot to play in the NBA. He had nine rebounds and eight points, typically putting his body on the line. Men's head coach Chris Finch also quit after the team's most impressive performance. "The game is going to get a shot in the arm from our presence here," he said. "We have a bright future."
The men were fifth in their six-team group, while the women were last. The sport's future however, will come at a price. Great Britain entered a team at the 1948 Olympics, but the current funded programme started in 2006. After a gap of 14 years, British Basketball was set up to prepare a team for the home Olympics.
The world body, Fiba, had insisted that part of the legacy had to be formation of a British team. That is at the expense of English, Scottish, and Welsh independent representation. The first two have bowed to the inevitable, but in what some regard as narrow-minded self-interest Wales tried to scupper the package. They now face funding sanctions by Sport Wales with a threat that they may be considered unfit for purpose.
It is self-evident that Scotland playing in Europe division C, against the likes of Gibraltar will do nothing to help develop the game.
"Scotland must ensure that in future there is meaningful competition for national teams at senior level as well as in the lower reaches," said Sandy Sutherland, a past president of Scottish basketball and a member of its board. "We have been given an opportunity to progress at performance level, up to Euro A, through GB in the older age groups. We are going to continue to compete up to Euro C level for another two Olympiads [eight years].
"We have to get our act together so that if we have alternative competitions, such as a Nordic Cup with the Scadinavian countries, that becomes a meaningful alternative to European competitions we have contested in the past. And we also have to try to get into the Commonwealth Games."
UK Sport set Olympic targets short of winning a medal for all three sports. Basketball and handball were asked to finish between fifth and eighth place. Neither did so. The minimum for volleyball was for one team to win a match and make the top eight and for beach volleyball it was top 10.
There has been no overall release of volleyball final positions. However, if it goes by their results (rather than them finishing equal ninth and 12th), GB women will finish 10th and the men 12th,
Volleyball's chairman is Richard Calicott, former ceo of UK Sport. There is nobody better to fight volleyball's corner than a poacher-turned-gamekeeper, but he was disturbed by the UKS target criteria. "That's the first time I have heard that detail," he said last night. "We were to 'compete with credibility'. I believe we have done that. Our indoor women won a match and our beach women won a match. The men came very close [two points] to taking a set off world no.5 Bulgaria, and performed well.
"Sir Chris Hoy said this week that it takes 12 years of funding to reach world class. We will defend our position with the statistics. We have a young squad and have come a long way in five years. We have closed the gap from scratch.
"The Secretary of State and Sports Minister have said there will be at least the same level of lottery funding after the Olympics as before."
Handball finished bottom of their group in sixth. The sport also started from scratch in Britain. They were part of a talent identity programme, Sporting Giants, which attracted almost 5000 applications. Among those was a former football goalkeeper, Bobby White, from Newport Pagnell. He had never heard of handball in 2007 yet captained the Olympic team.
Liz Nicholl, Calicott's successor – whom he must tackle to secure his sport's future – told Herald Sport: "One of the many things that hosting the Games has provided is a fantastic opportunity for some sports – including some team sports like volleyball, handball and basketball – to participate in the Olympic Games, mainly through host nation places, despite not having a strong performance heritage or track record at GB level.
"In making investment decisions, UK Sport recognises current performance as an indicator of future performance potential. We are already well advanced with planning for Rio [the Olympic Games in 2016], and are working with all sports to help them make the strongest possible case for performance investment.
"In all cases, we expect sports to be able to demonstrate that they and their athletes can qualify by right for Rio and are also on a trajectory towards the World and Olympic podium. It is premature to be making any comment about specific sports. All business cases will be reviewed through October and November and decisions will be taken in December."