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Grainger: Leave Scots athletes out of referendum

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OLYMPIC gold medallist Katherine Grainger has hit out at attempts to “pull” Scottish athletes into the debate on Scottish independence.

Grainger, who won gold in the women’s double sculls rowing at London 2012, was critical of attempts to draw athletes into the independence debate when they have not actively spoken out.

Grainger said: “What I find difficult is any Scottish athlete... kind of gets pulled into the debate, it’s very rare that you hear an athlete deliberately speaking about it.”

“It’s not foremost in your mind - you don’t go out thinking ‘will it be Scotland, will it be England, will it be Great Britain next time?’

“You go to compete at the highest level and win your medals, and I do get frustrated by athletes being drawn into the debate unnecessarily.”

‘Great platform - if you wanted’

Grainger believes, however, that those athletes who do wish to speak out should exercise their right.

She said: “It’s different if athletes want to speak out about it that’s absolutely fine, that’s their right and they’ve got a great platform to do it.

“But when athletes don’t raise it themselves, then get pulled into the debate and make headlines, I think that’s really quite unfair.

“Athletes aren’t athletes to be politicians, athletes are athletes to go and win medals.”

Glasgow-born Grainger is Britain’s most successful female Olympic rower, with three silver medals to go with her 2012 gold.

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