Usain Bolt hope for Glasgow 2014 after tax change

THE prospects of Ussain Bolt and other top athletes competing at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games have been boosted after the Treasury accepted that competitors should be given a tax break.

Following a campaign by Glasgow MPs Tory Chancellor George Osborne included a clause in this month’s Budget which puts the 2014 games on the same tax footing as last year’s Olympics.

It means that competitors such as the 100m and 200m world record holder Bolt will not have to pay tax on their earnings while competing in Glasgow.

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The Jamaican sprinter had been one of the athletes who had been concerned about being hit with a large tax bill for taking part in the sporting festival in July and August next year.

It is understood that Bolt has not competed in the UK apart from the Olympics because of tax issues.

After the Olympics last year he spoke about the tax problems and said: “As soon as the law changes I’ll be here all the time. I love being here, I have so many Jamaican fans here and it’s wonderful.”

Labour Glasgow North East MP William Bain, one of the MPs who lobbied the Treasury to change the rules, welcomed the decision.

He said: “This means Ussain Bolt and other leading athletes will be in Glasgow.

“It reallty is good news for the Commonwealth Games and was the right thing to do.

“It also gives the Commonwealth Games the same recognition as the Olympics and the Champions League final.”

A spokeswoman for Bolt from his London based agent Pace Sports Management said that “no decision” has been made about whether the athlete will compete in Glasgow next year.

But she insisted that fitness was more of a concern than tax regimes.

She said: “It depends on what shape he is in physically and whether he has any injuries. Those are the main issues around whether he competes in Glasgow or not.”