Path cleared for Bolt to compete in London on Games anniversary after Osborne grants tax exemption to athletes
chairman and Olympics legacy ambassador Lord Coe, who had lobbied for the exemption.
Star attraction: Bolt was not expected to compete at this year's London Grand Prix
Osborne said: 'The Government is
determined to do everything possible to secure the Olympic legacy and I
am delighted to grant this exemption.'
world's leading athletes have made a habit of withdrawing from the
London Grand Prix in recent years but after it was moved to the Olympic
Stadium from its usual home of Crystal Palace to mark the one-year
anniversary of the start of the Olympics, the need for Bolt and Co to
compete was made apparent to Osborne.
Grand Prix – predicted to be a sell-out – is expected to be held over
two days, starting with an evening session on Friday, July 26.
U-turn: The door is open for Bolt to return to the Olympic Stadium
Bolt’s agent, Ricky Simms, has welcomed Osborne’s decision: 'It’s good news for the Diamond League meeting and British sport in general.
'The rules were discouraging a lot of the top stars from competing in the UK when they had options elsewhere.'
He added: 'I think it’s about two weeks before the World Championships, which is quite late, but it’s London and it’s the Olympic Stadium again so it obviously has an attraction.'
Usual setting: Crystal Palace will not be hosting the Grand Prix this year
Osborne's exemption covers appearances fees, prize money and sponsorship income but it only covers non-resident athletes.
Both London 2012 and the 2011 Champions League final were granted similar exemptions, and this year's Champions League final and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year will be too.