New Zealander Bruce Biddle and Australian Ray Bilney race towards the chequered flag at the finish of the 102 miles cycling road race during the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh in July 1970. Biddle won the race.

Commonwealth Games: Here are 22 fascinating pictures of sporting action from the Edinburgh 1970 and 1986 Games

The Birmingham Commonwealth Games this week gets underway with an opening ceremony featuring pop superstars Duran Duran.

Of course Scotland’s Capital is no stranger to the Games, having hosted them twice in 1970 and 1986.

The 1970s Commonwealth Games heralded a number of firsts – the first time the Games had been held in Scotland, the first time ‘British Commonwealth Games’ was adopted (and later abandoned), the first time metric units were used in all events, and the first time a unique logo was designed (the games emblem intertwined with a St Andrews Cross and a thistle).

A total of 1,744 people (including officials) took part in 121 events in 10 sports, with the action centred around Meadowbank Stadium, which also hosted the opening ceremony.

The Games returned to Edinburgh in 1986 but were overshadowed by 32 of the eligible 59 countries boycotting the event due to Margaret Thatcher’s government’s policy of maintaining sporting links with apartheid South Africa rather than joining the general boycott of the country.

The event was also dogged by allegations of financial mismanagement, with the City of Edinburgh eventually ending up around £500,000 out of pocket.

But the Games still went ahead, with 1,660 athletes from 27 nations taking part in 161 events comprising 10 sports.

Here are 22 pictures to take you back to the sporting action at both Edinburgh Games.

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