All overseas athletes that have been shunning the UK for tax reasons will be granted a tax-free visit to compete in the Olympic anniversary reunion.
Chancellor George Osborne, yesterday, announced that there would be an amnesty for the duration of the track and field games being held at the Olympic Stadium this summer on the opening anniversary of the 2012 Games.
This will be “one-off exemption” for leading Olympians, Osborne said.
“The Government is determined to do everything possible to secure the Olympic legacy and I am delighted to grant this exemption,” he added.
The Jamaican sprinter and multiple-Gold medallist Usain Bolt has been the most vocal of tax critics and, apart from the Olympics, has not competed in the UK since 2009. Bolt insists taxes, which would target his sponsorship deals and advertising, would leave him in a position where he was actually losing money because it would tax his worldwide not just UK earnings.
“It’s good news for the Diamond League meeting and British sport in general,” Bolt’s London agent Ricky Simms, told media. “The rules were discouraging a lot of the top stars from competing in the UK when they had options elsewhere.”
Stars such as double Olympic champion Mo Farah and heptathlon gold medallist Jessica Ennis had already pledged to attend the two-day track event.
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