Australian marathon great Rob de Castella has fired a shot at "self-serving" AIS executives chewing up a huge chunk of Australian sport's budget as the Olympic Games draw near.
But the Australian Sports Commission says investment in Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games sports still boasts the largest allocation of its annual budget.
It comes following revelations Olympic sports face significant funding cuts while interstate-based executives fly in and out of Canberra on taxpayer dollars.
But the ASC has fended off criticism about high-ranking officials being based in offices in Melbourne and Brisbane, adamant the evolution of the AIS means there is work being done around the entire country.
But de Castella has grown frustrated with national sports organisations fearing funding cuts could leave elite and community programs hanging by a thread, while millions of dollars are pumped into marketing and recruitment programs.
"I'm just staggered by the self-serving interests of some of these executives and the wastage, it's just disgraceful," de Castella said.
"When we have so many sports that are doing it so tough, and so many athletes and families struggling to cover increases in registration and travel costs and everything involved in sport, I'm just staggered.
"This current direction and administration is very much tied in with being able to deliver results in Tokyo, so we will wait and see how it all pans out there.
"With all the work I'm doing with indigenous communities, I really see the grassroots and see what's going on out there.
"I know how hard so many people are doing it, and what a huge difference it makes to peoples' lives when they're involved in participating in sport. We just need to find a way.
"In the old days, people got involved in sport because it was a passion, and they wanted to make a contribution because they loved what they were doing.
"I don't expect people to always do it for nothing, but if you are looking to end up with a golden parachute, sport is not really where you should be working."
The AIS has been criticised in recent years for a lack of sports using it as a full-time facility however the sports commission says more than $500 million has been spent over the past four years with an eye on the Tokyo Games.
The ASC Annual Report for 2018-19 states in the past seven years the average staffing level at the ASC has been reduced from 790 to 444 - a 44 per cent reduction.
Officials says high performance grants to sports have increased from $106 million to $147 million throughout the same period.
But less well-resourced sports like baseball will not receive funding for an upcoming Olympic qualification camp because it is not considered a sport in which Australia can claim a medal.
Australia's medal returns have steadily dipped since the Sydney Games in 2000, from 58 in our own backyard down to 29 in Rio four years ago.
Many critics have lamented the AIS' shift towards becoming a home for cutting edge sports science rather than an athlete hub as one of the major factors behind the fall.
ASC officials remain committed to revitalising the AIS campus in Bruce and are pursuing a project with the Australian government.
Many athletes now train at state institutes around Australia, with ASC officials adding the AIS' mission is to help competitors all over the country.