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Sir Chris Hoy retires from cycling

A Knight to remember: British cycling's Olympic golden boy Hoy rides off into the sunset after stellar career

: February – Wins sprint and keirin at London World Cup, an event which doubles as the Olympic test event. April – Wins keirin world title in Melbourne. Claims bronze in the sprint after being beaten by Kenny in the semi-final. August 2 – Wins fifth Olympic gold medal in London 2012 men's team sprint bringing him level on golds with Sir Steve Redgrave. August 7 – Wins the men's keirin at London 2012, his second gold of the Games and his sixth Olympic gold medal in total making him Britain's most successful Olympian.

2013: April 15 – Calls a media conference for April 18 in Edinburgh, where he is announces his retirement from competitive cycling.

'The desire to race in Glasgow was there, but when I started training again my body wasn't responding,' said Hoy. 'London took an incredible toll. I squeezed out every drop, really emptied the tank' – and in doing so, he won two gold medals, taking his tally to a record six Olympic golds, one more than Sir Steve Redgrave.

'I didn't want to turn up in Glasgow and not be successful,' Hoy continued. 'I didn't want to spend a year-and-a-half putting Sarra (his wife) and everything else to one side. And I don't want to be there to get a tracksuit and wave to the crowd — I wouldn't enjoy that.'

Although Hoy says there was no epiphany, if he had to pick one moment when his thoughts settled on retirement, it came – paradoxically enough – on a bike ride.

It was last month, towards the end of an eight-week holiday with Sarra, as they toured Asia and Australia.

'We were doing a road trip from Cairns to Adelaide,' says Hoy. 'The car had a roof rack with bikes, of course, and I was riding every day, first thing in the morning but also eating what I wanted and relaxing.

'As we got close to Adelaide, we stopped and I got the bike off and rode the last 100km. It was in the Barossa Valley, through the vineyards. Stunning. And I thought, “Yes, this is more like it.”

'I realised that I was associating the bike with pleasure, rather than the pain of training. It reminded me why I got into the sport in the first place.'

And it beat battering his body into
submission in a velodrome. As Hoy explains: 'People think that if you're
a good cyclist or tennis player or rugby player that you simply get out
of bed and do it.

'But you become good at it because of what you do day
after day, year after year. It's why I know I can't just turn up in
Glasgow and be competitive. Your body eventually says,: “Enough”.'

After London 2012 Hoy said he
desperately wanted to carry on to Glasgow, by which time he will be 38. But what
most didn't know at the time was that his build-up to his fourth
Olympics had been so difficult.

He was struck down with a back injury
just weeks before the Games, forcing him to return early from a
training camp in Germany. Then he mistakenly booked a flight home for
the wrong day, forcing a detour to Glasgow and a long journey for Sarra
to drive from their home in Cheshire to collect him.

Next morning, Hoy was called into the
Manchester Velodrome for a meeting with Dave Brailsford and Shane
Sutton.

'You're not riding the sprint,' Sutton told him. 'And the way
you're going, you're not riding the keirin, either.' Hoy was defending
Olympic champion in both events.

Flying the flag: Sir Chris Hoy of the leads out Great Britain at the 2012 Opening Ceremony

Flying the flag: Sir Chris Hoy of the leads out Great Britain at the 2012 Opening Ceremony

Gold star: Hoy shows off his medal after the Men's Keirin Track Cycling Final last year

Gold star: Hoy shows off his medal after the Men's Keirin Track Cycling Final last year

Pedal to the medal: Hoy during the keirin at the London Games

Pedal to the medal: Hoy during the keirin at the London Games

Victory parade: Hoy (right) and Sarah Storey are interviewed by Helen Skelton (left)

Victory parade: Hoy (right) and Sarah Storey are interviewed by Helen Skelton (left)

Sealed with a kiss: Hoy with his wife Sarra Kemp after winning a gold medal in the Velodrome last year

Sealed with a kiss: Hoy with his wife Sarra Kemp after winning a gold medal in the Velodrome last year

THE FUTURE FOR A KNIGHT RIDER

Sir Chris Hoy says he is looking forward to 'a bit of relaxation and living a more balanced life,' though he will also be working as an ambassador for Glasgow 2014 and Glasgow's Youth Olympics bid in 2018.

He is launching his own 'HOY' bike range at the end of May, and says he will step up his commitment to two main charities, Unicef and the Scottish Association for Mental Health.

Then there is motor racing. He competed in three races in Melbourne recently, finishing third in the series, and will take part in the Radical SR1 Cup, over four weekends from June.

'It's a hobby, not something I necessarily see myself doing to a great level. I love it. It reminds me of my early days racing BMX.'

In the end, making it to London at
all was an achievement. Acting as flag-bearer for Team GB at the Opening
Ceremony was an honour. And winning two gold medals, in the team sprint
and keirin, was a triumph.

'I enjoyed the post-Olympic period
far more than after Beijing,' says Hoy. 'It didn't come as such a shock.
But once I'd had my fill of eating, drinking, going to functions and
not exercising, I was desperate to get back into the routine of
training.

'In the autumn I was back in the gym
and on the track. I went to Perth for a training camp, then raced in
Rotterdam at New Year. But my body wasn't responding as I hoped it
would. It was nothing to panic about but I found when I pushed myself
harder I was nailed.

'I felt fit and healthy but I'm talking
about subtle differences and fractions of a second. Some days I'd wake
up feeling great but it was just little things; getting up in the
morning and really aching from a hard training session the day before.

'I didn't want to go to Glasgow and
not be capable of winning. I would enjoy seeing the event and the crowd
but I can do that better from the sidelines and I hope to have a role
as an ambassador or mentor. I'll certainly be there. But by not
competing it'll allow someone else to come into the team and I won't be
stealing the limelight. It won't be me plus team-mates.'

Hoy says he would like to mentor GB athletes at the Rio Olympics as well, 'If they'll have me.'

On
the eve of going public with his decision, Hoy said he had no doubts.
'I'm not in two minds. I'm content. I can walk away at the top level
without any lingering regrets. I would have loved to have a gold medal
from Glasgow, maybe a kilometre world record as well, but you've got to
realise when the time has come to stop.'

Winning personality: Chris Hoy with the 2008 2008 BBC Sports Personality Of The Year trophy

Winning personality: Chris Hoy with the 2008 2008 BBC Sports Personality Of The Year trophy

Oh what a Knight: Hoy with the Knighthood he received from the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace in 2008

Oh what a Knight: Hoy with the Knighthood he received from the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace in 2008

Asked what he would miss, Hoy said: 'The team, the banter, the routine. I like routine, turning up at the track and seeing the same guys, and being part of that team and being on a journey together.'

It is a journey that has seen cycling move from the margins to the mainstream, with Hoy arguably the central figure in this sporting revolution.

'When I think of how cycling was when I started and then think where it is now, it's been a hell of a ride,' he said.

And the things he won't miss 'The way you feel in the morning after certain sessions, gym sessions in particular, which leave you with residual soreness for several days,' he said.

'Waking up with that muscle soreness, knowing you've got to do it all again, I'll not miss that.

'But that's a very small price to pay for the highs you get from working hard,' Hoy added. 'People say it's a sacrifice, but it's not a sacrifice. You choose to do it, but it's going to be nice to put something else first for a change and get a bit of balance in my life.'

Hoy said he would continue cycling 'to keep myself fit and fight the beer belly'.

As for the future, Hoy has charity commitments, he is launching a range of bikes and becoming an adviser to the Scottish Rugby Union. He will also act as mentor to the Scottish team at Glasgow 2014, and said he would relish a similar role with Team GB at the Rio Olympics – 'if they'll have me'.

Triple crown: Chris Hoy celebrates winning his third gold medal of the 2008 Olympics in the men's sprint final

Triple crown: Chris Hoy celebrates winning his third gold medal of the 2008 Olympics in the men's sprint final

Golden boy (and girl): Triple gold medallist Chris Hoy (left) and double gGold medal-winning swimmer Rebecca Adlington arrive home from Beijing

Golden boy (and girl): Triple gold medallist Chris Hoy (left) and double gGold medal-winning swimmer Rebecca Adlington arrive home from Beijing

Modest to the last, he rejected the
label of 'Britain's greatest Olympian'
despite being the only one with six
gold medals – one more than his
own choice as No 1. 'It's subjective,
but I think Sir Steve Redgrave is the
greatest. To keep going for five consecutive
Games and be at the top, to
me that is a far greater achievement
than winning multiple medals at one
games.'

In the end, in equally typical Hoy
fashion, he said he had no doubts
about retirement. 'I'm not in two
minds. I'm content. I can walk away
at the top level without any lingering
regrets. I would have loved to have a
gold medal from Glasgow, but you've
got to realise when the time has come
to stop.'

BOA chairman Lord Coe paid tribute to
Hoy, saying: 'Throughout his remarkable career, Sir Chris Hoy has
exemplified the values that define an Olympic champion. His pursuit of
excellence has been tireless. His respect for opponents, and commitment
to clean competition, has been unwavering.

And his dignity in victory has set
an example that generations of Team GB athletes will strive to emulate.
Chris is an icon and he has earned a revered place among our nation's
greatest sporting heroes.

'His
gold medal triumphs this past summer in London are two of the defining
moments of the Games, and were a source of pride and inspiration for
millions throughout our country.

'We
are grateful that Chris has chosen to continue his association with the
British Olympic Association by serving as a Glasgow 2018 Champion in
its bid to host the Youth Olympic Games.

'As
he transitions now from his unparalleled competitive career and takes
on a series of new and different challenges, we wish Sir Chris the very
best for continued success, and we thank him for his commitment to Team
GB and the Olympic movement.'

LIFE AND TIMES OF SIR CHRIS HOY – IN HIS OWN WORDS

My three favourite memories

'I can't choose three, so can I have
four The first is 1999, the World Championships in Berlin, and our
first medal in the team sprint. I had this feeling of euphoria and
disbelief.

That the three of us [Craig MacLean and Jason Queally were
his teammates] could have a world championship silver medal, seemed
incredible. It was the first British sprint medal since the Reg Harris
era. There was a feeling that there may be possibilities beyond that,
but I remember thinking: if I do nothing else, I can always say I won a
world championship medal. It's weird to think that now.

'The second is winning the kilo at the
2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester. My first individual title, and so
close to home. There were so many Scottish folk in the crowd, too. To
beat the Olympic champion [Queally] on home soil was special. I felt I
was stepping out of the shadow of Jason and Craig.

'The third is my gold medal in the kilo
at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. The moment that meant most, and which I
remember most vividly, was when I was waiting to step on to the top step
of the podium and I heard my name followed by “Olympic champion.”

'Then, finally, winning gold in the keirin at London 2012. What an amazing way to finish it off.'

My 3 toughest opponents

Jason Kenny

'Jason, my young British team-mate and
good friend, also became one of my toughest opponents. He never has any
fear. He is never affected by pressure, never intimidated. The way he
stepped into the team in Beijing was amazing.

'He took it in his stride
and never fussed about anything. His attitude always seems to be that he
has nothing to lose. And he is the same in any situation. He also has
an incredible turn of speed and acceleration.'

Arnaud Tournant, France

'He was the one I looked up to when I
started doing the kilo [in 2001]. He had an aura about him, and although
he seemed more human after Sydney, where Jason [Queally] beat him, he
was still the benchmark.

'I never managed to beat his world record but we
had some amazing battles. I beat him by a thousandth of a second in at
the world champs in Copenhagen [2002], then he was second to me at the
worlds in Melbourne and in Athens [both 2004]. He's a big, big
personality, a real showman. A really tough opponent, but off the bike
we became good friends.'

Theo Bos, Holland

'Theo is so classy, he had so much style
and flair, and he was almost unbeatable before 2008. When I beat him in
the quarter finals at the world championships that year it was a
turning point for me.

'Knocking him out in Olympic year, in front of a
home crowd [in Manchester], was massive for me. It was also the
beginning of the end for him. He stopped track racing and now rides on
the road.'

My three non-cycling sporting heroes

Gavin Hastings

'Rugby was my sport in my early teens
and Gavin Hastings, 'Big Gav', was my first sporting hero, before Graeme
Obree. Hastings went to the same school as me [George Watson's College
in Edinburgh. Hoy captained Edinburgh Schools at under-15 level]. He was
a great player and a great Scottish captain. Having since had the
honour of meeting him, he is a lovely guy, too.'

Roger Federer

Federer is one of the guys all sports
people aspire to be like. His longevity, his record, the way he handles
himself. He's not a guy who, if he gets beaten, disappears. He's a
classy player and a classy professional athlete.'

Michael Johnson

'The Usain Bolt of his era. I admired
his approach to training. Listening to him talk about his methodical
approach, and his mindset, it was something I could relate to. And he
was just awesome to watch.

'Even more than the 100 metres with Bolt, the gap
would open up, the race was his, and it was a race for second place. It's a
shame he wasn't in the same era as Bolt because it would have been
great to see them go head-to-head over 200m.

Sir Chris Hoy talks of his historic sixth Olympic gold win

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VIDEO: Watch Hoy win his sixth Olympic gold medal at London 2012

Robin van Persie is like Eric Cantona – Sir Alex Ferguson

Ferguson has found his new Eric as United boss compares RVP to legend Cantona

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UPDATED:

10:33 GMT, 18 December 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson has compared star summer signing Robin van Persie with Manchester United legend Eric Cantona.

Van Persie arrived from Arsenal in the summer for 24million but has already formed a prolific partnership with Wayne Rooney and has settled into life at Old Trafford with spectacular ease.

Ferguson said: 'He has got a similar profile to Eric in terms of age and maturity. He had a great spell at Arsenal so there is no issue with him needing to settle into the Premier League.

Dutch of class: Van Persie has been a revelation at Old Trafford since his 24m arrival

Dutch of class: Van Persie has been a revelation at Old Trafford since his 24m arrival

Dutch of class: Van Persie has been a revelation at Old Trafford since his 24m arrival

'He came from one big club to another big club and he is an established international. All these things in his profile suited us perfectly.'

When Cantona arrived in Manchester, he was credited with raising the game of the players around him and launching an era of United dominance in English football.

Ferguson believes Van Persie is capable of achieving something similar.

Ferguson said: 'I think it is happening, the attacking aspect of our game has definitely improved and of course he has weighed in with 14 goals so far. Chicharito has got nine goals, Rooney has seven I think and we have scored around 43 goals as team, which is quite a high amount for this time of year.'

French fancy: Cantona is one of United's all-time greats

French fancy: Cantona is one of United's all-time greats

In a wide-ranging interview with yahoo.com, Ferguson also speaks at length on how his socialist roots helped shape his approach to management, particularly his admiration for the Glasgow trade unionist Jimmy Reid.

Ferguson said: 'It has been fundamental I was brought up in socialist background and both of my parents were socialist. My father worked in the shipyards, I went into engineering and went into a trade union then.

'I think that coming from that area definitely encourages involvement in the respect because everyone is working class.

'Jimmy Reid lived about a mile away from me, as he was from Govern also. I used to remember Jimmy walking to the library every day with a pile of books under his arm.

'He wasn't into football the way many were as we would all be playing football or cuing up to play. Jimmy was absorbed in his education and it proved to be a great education because he proved to be a very intelligent guy.'

Steven Naismith won"t back down in Rangers row

Standing firm: Naismith won't back down in Rangers row as striker battles former club

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UPDATED:

23:15 GMT, 12 December 2012

Steven Naismith has maintained he will not back down from his legal dispute with Rangers and instead insisted he owes the Ibrox club nothing.

The Everton star is one of a posse of former players defending themselves against legal action brought by Ibrox chief executive Charles Green after they quit the club on free transfers in the summer.

Green wants the new clubs of Naismith, Steven Whittaker, Jamie Ness, Sone Aluko and Kyle Lafferty to pay compensation for signing players who walked out after objecting to their contracts being switched from the Rangers oldco to the newco.

Won't back down: Steven Naismith is involved in a dispute with Rangers

Won't back down: Steven Naismith is involved in a dispute with Rangers

The Ibrox club will learn in January if they have the right to pursue compensation via the SFA. If that is unsuccessful, Green has threatened to pursue the cash via the courts.

Unable to have their international clearance certificates transferred to their new clubs in the meantime, Aluko, Lafferty and Ness are counter-suing the Ibrox club for ‘constructive dismissal’.

Naismith says he wants no part in suing Rangers but is determined to defend himself from legal threats.

And, despite accepting a 75-per-cent wage cut when the club entered administration, he insists he is not after a penny.

‘I think 90 per cent of people that talk about this don’t know half of what happened,’ said Naismith in Glasgow.

New start: Naismith left Rangers to join Everton in the summer

New start: Naismith left Rangers to join Everton in the summer

‘I took legal advice and made the decisions I made.

‘I’m not looking to go after the club for money for 90 days’ pay or anything like that — it’s not something I’ve thought about or been interested in.
‘There’s so much going on, so many different cases.

‘People think it’s one big thing and everyone’s name gets thrown in the pot.

‘People want to say things as they think they know everything. But the people closest to me know what happened — and what’s gone on, on my part anyway.

‘You’re never going to make everyone happy.’

No brainer: Naismith left Ibrox after Rangers were relegated

No brainer: Naismith left Ibrox after Rangers were relegated

Taking advice from lawyers, Naismith admitted the prospect of counter-suing Rangers was raised.

Already unable to walk through the door at Ibrox amid the bitterness, he opted instead to concentrate on his new career at Everton.

And, frustrated that fans rarely mention the financial sacrifices players made when they took substantial wage cuts to keep others in their jobs, Naismith insists he never intended to leave Rangers and would still have been there but for financial meltdown in February.

‘In a couple of years, people will look back and say they did that (wage cuts) for the good of the club,’ he said. ‘People might think there were other agendas or we were only doing it for certain reasons, but the players know what we were trying to do at the outset. That was to try to stop the club from getting liquidated.’

Paul Lambert tries to play down Norwich v Aston Villa

Nice try, Paul! Lambert fails in attempt to play down return to Norwich with new side Villa

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UPDATED:

00:00 GMT, 10 December 2012

It was a manful attempt by Paul Lambert to play down his return to Norwich CIty on Tuesday night as ‘just another game.’

Unfortunately, he failed to convince.

Aston Villa’s boss heads to Norfolk for the first time since he quit for Villa Park last summer following three mutually-beneficial years.

The details of his acrimonious exit from Carrow Road have not yet been fully explained and arbitration is hanging over him.

Return: Paul Lambert takes his Aston Villa side to Norwich on Tuesday

Return: Paul Lambert takes his Aston Villa side to Norwich on Tuesday

Two months ago, he was all but ignored by the Canaries’ travelling support at Villa Park. They opted to chant Chris Hughton’s name instead.

His public stance may be to downplay its’ personal significance ahead of this Capital One Cup quarter-final, but by making comparison to the Glasgow derby, he was pretty much admitting that it was going to be anything but a conventional evening out.

'I think other people will make more of it than I will,' he said, 'but it’s never been about me, it’s about the team that goes there. I know what I’m going into.

'I’d like to think the sensible supporters might think: “He’s done all right.”

'Myself, Ian Culverhouse and Gary
Karsa gave it a right good run for its money. The sad thing is that
people don’t really know what’s been going on.

'Some managers go back and get great receptions. Brendan Rodgers the other week, with Swansea, for instance.

'Others go back and they are the worst thing since sliced bread.

Struggle: Villa were held to a goalless draw against Stoke on Saturday

Struggle: Villa were held to a goalless draw against Stoke on Saturday

'So I don’t know whether I’ll get any flak…it’s a hard one to call whether they want to do it or not. You’ll probably hear it.

'But then at Celtic I played for a club for eight years that half of the city hated.

'You know, I still get it to this day when I go home. I still get the odd shout in the city centre – and I retired about 15 years ago.

'When you have been in that you can handle anything.

'So, I can’t say too much more because of the arbitration, but it should never have come to this.'

Lambert knows the bigger picture for Villa is that the prospect of a semi-final appearance will leave the Birmingham club with a decided spring in its step.

'I believe we’re playing very well, he added. 'We would love to be winning more games and score but the only teams to turn us over at the moment are the two Manchester clubs. Norwich are going really fine themselves but we’ll be threat, that’s for sure.'

That was then: Lambert walked away from Norwich in the summer

That was then: Lambert walked away from Norwich in the summer

He hopes an agreement can be reached in his dispute with former club Norwich before it goes before a Premier League tribunal at the end of next month.

Lambert was upset when Norwich chairman Alan Bowkett made the matter public at a fans' forum and claimed he had left all of his previous clubs in a similar manner.

But in an ideal world he would like the matter resolved before it goes it goes to arbitration.

Lambert said: 'Probably the sad thing is people don't really know what's been going on.

'Is it a source of sorrow it's ended up how it has Yes, it should never have been the way it is.

'Would you hope it could get sorted amicably You'd like to think that way. But I just let the lawyers and the LMA (League Managers' Association), who have been brilliant with it, get on with things.

'It's unfair to comment because it's in arbitration and you've got to respect that.'

Elgin fan "mortified" over Ibrox dance display – VIDEO

Elgin fan red-faced despite rave reviews for dancing in front of Blue Noses at Ibrox

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UPDATED:

09:58 GMT, 6 December 2012

The happiest football fan in Britain admitted she was 'mortified' after becoming an internet sensation for her dancing display at Ibrox.

Jenny Bird, 36, was in Glasgow to watch Elgin face Rangers in the Scottish Cup and was captured on camera as she boogied in the away end during her side' 3-0 defeat.

Jenny appeared on YouTube and the clip generated 100,000 views in the first 24 hours.

Scroll down for video

Rave on: Jenny Bird became an internet hit after dancing at Ibrox

Rave on: Jenny Bird became an internet hit after dancing at Ibrox

But the volunteer sports coach from Nairn told the Daily Record: 'I'm mortified. I've given myself a red neck but, hey, life's too serious anyway.

'It wasn't planned. I just got carried away with the music. It was just a bit of fun with the moves I use when I'm warming up for boxing and exercise.

'It's something that's happened and now I've just got to get on with it. There was no harm in it and if it has made people happy, then that's good.'

Jenny, who supports Highland League side Nairn, travelled down on the bus to watch her friend Stuart Leslie play for Elgin.

And she denied going straight to the match after a big night out on the town.

She added: 'I hardly ever drink, except maybe one at my birthday and at Christmas.'

Jenny's dad is ex-Jedburgh player and racehorse owner Charlie Bird and her brother-in-law Derek Paterson played rugby for Scotland.

Sir Chris Hoy launches his own range of bikes

On your bike, Chris: Olympian Hoy launches his own set of golden wheels

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UPDATED:

15:43 GMT, 27 November 2012

Sir Chris Hoy today announced that he will launch his own range of cycles next May, but still hopes to extend his glittering career to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in the Glasgow stadium named after him.

The 36-year-old, Britain’s most decorated Olympian with six gold medals, is going into business with leading UK retailer Evans.

'Cycling has been a central part of my life from an early age and has helped me to achieve so much,” said Hoy, one of the 10 nominations for BBC Sports Personality of the Year; the award he won after the Beijing Games in 2008.

Golden wheels: Sir Chris Hoy launches his own range of bicycles

Golden wheels: Sir Chris Hoy launches his own range of bicycles

'I want to help more people experience the power and enjoyment of cycling, as well as demystifying it and making it more accessible to all.

'That’s why I decided to create a brand that embodies this vision and my passion,

'I’m excited to be working with Evans to deliver a new brand that can share my enjoyment of cycling with a whole new audience.'

The initial launch will consist of three road bikes for recreational and sports cyclists and four city bikes for commuters and leisure cyclists.

On your bike: Hoy poses with one of his new bikes

On your bike: Hoy poses with one of his new bikes

The early models will be for youths as well as adults and there are plans to extend the range to cater for every cyclist, including a limited-edition track bike.

'I’m really enjoying building my brand from scratch,' Hoy added. “There are so many aspects that need to mesh perfectly and finding that balance has been very exciting and rewarding.

'I’ve been working very hard on developing the brand values as well as the visual features, which will appear on all the bikes.

At the double: Hoy won two gold medals at London 2012

At the double: Hoy won two gold medals at London 2012

'This is something I will really get my teeth into. When I do retire I can still play on bikes and be able to design stuff. The Hoy brand is going to stand for enjoyment of cycling.'

Hoy leaves for Perth in Australia on Monday for winter training and talks of the Commonwealth Games as being a “dream end to my career,” but insists he will have to justify his place in the Scottish team.

'I’ll only be there if I believe I am physically able to do it. Fingers crossed I will be there,' he added.

He is quoted as a 125/1 outsider for the Sports Personality of the Year award this time and has no arguments about that.

Hoy added: 'I think I will probably have a tenner on Bradley (fellow cyclist Bradley Wiggins) like I did just before he went down the Champs Elysees to win the Tour de France!'

Usain Bolt wants to run in 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games

Bolt bound for Scotland as 100m record holder wants to run at 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow

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UPDATED:

22:56 GMT, 23 November 2012

Usain Bolt has revealed he 'definitely' wants to compete in the 100 metres at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

The Jamaican missed the 2006 Games in Melbourne with a hamstring injury and elected not to travel to Delhi four years ago, but said he wants to compete again in Britain to complete his collection of international sprint titles.

The Olympic champion and world record-holder over 100m and 200m said: 'Definitely. That’s the only title I don’t have so I think it’s something I would like to go for, even if I just do the 100m.

Still in the game: Usain Bolt said he wants to run the 100metres at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014

Still in the game: Usain Bolt said he wants to run the 100metres at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014

See you there! Bolt is likely to meet compatriot and training partner Yohan Blake (left)

See you there! Bolt is likely to meet compatriot and training partner Yohan Blake (left)

'It’s something to say (I have won) at the end of my career. It’s a good one to get and if everything goes well and the coach (Glenn Mills) agrees then I will go. It’s the Commonwealth Games so I don’t think he will have a problem with me going.'

Bolt, 26, will attempt to regain his World Championship 100m title in Moscow next summer – which he lost in 2011 to compatriot Yohan Blake after he was disqualified for a false start in the final – but is also targeting breaking his own world record in 2013.

Speaking at the IAAF Centenary Gala in Barcelona, the sprinter also ruled out suggestions he will move up to the 400m or add the long jump to his repertoire.

In the dark: Bolt and Blake were both in Barcelona on Friday

In the dark: Bolt and Blake were both in Barcelona on Friday

In the dark: Bolt and Blake were both in Barcelona on Friday

Switching on: Bolt was turning on the Christmas lights at the Puma store in the Spanish city

Switching on: Bolt was turning on the Christmas lights at the Puma store in the Spanish city

Vocal: Bolt wants to continue short distance sprinting

Vocal: Bolt wants to continue short distance sprinting

Bolt said: 'It’s just speed, really. Next season I just want to go as fast as possible. I’m getting a little bit old now so I want to go as fast as I can – but the World Championships is also a real focus for me.

'We talked about the 400m and long jump. I decided I won’t go to do one of those. It’s just about trying to go as fast as possible (over 100m and 200m). I just need to stay injury-free.

'At 28 coming up 29 you’re going to start going downhill. So (the target is) fast and hopefully everything will go well at the World Championships.'

Bolt is also keen to take up Sir Alex Ferguson's offer of a training session with Manchester United next year.

The Jamaican said he plays football 'every Wednesday and Sunday' and added: 'I have got an invite from Alex Ferguson to come and train with the guys any time I want.

It's just finding time to get up to Manchester to do it. Hopefully after my career in track and field I can go and play some football for Manchester United.'

Welcome part: Bolt was greeted in Spain by a band playing reggae music

Welcome part: Bolt was greeted in Spain by a band playing reggae music

Ready for more: Bolt sat next to another Olympic gold medal winner US athlete Allyson Felix

Ready for more: Bolt sat next to another Olympic gold medal winner US athlete Allyson Felix

Snoop Dogg Celtic: Neil Lennon would welcome rap star

Lennon: He can bring a bit of Snoop to Celtic… providing I can bring a bit of Neil to one of his parties

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UPDATED:

18:58 GMT, 19 November 2012

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has joked that he would welcome Snoop Dogg's investment in the club – if the hip hop star invited him to one of his parties.

The US rapper has expressed an interest in becoming a Celtic director after being struck by the passion of the supporters during their 2-1 Champions League win over Barcelona.

No 1 fan: Snoop Dogg, pictured posing with a Celtic shirt in 2005, is considering investing in the club

No 1 fan: Snoop Dogg, pictured posing with a Celtic shirt in 2005, is considering investing in the club

The singer stated he 'wanted to bring
a bit of Snoop' to Celtic and added: 'The boxes at Celtic would never
be the same once I have hosted a party there.'

When questioned about the music
star's interest ahead of his team's Champions League clash against
Benfica in Lisbon, Lennon said: 'It would be interesting if he did put
money in. As long as I got invited to one of his parties, it would be
okay.'

Snoop Dogg, who has previously been
photographed wearing a Celtic strip, said in the Sunday Mail: 'I know
Barcelona are a big deal, and it shows Celtic are a big deal as well.

Star quality: The rapper says he would like 'to bring a bit of Snoop to things' at the Glasgow club

Star quality: The rapper says he would like 'to bring a bit of Snoop to things' at the Glasgow club

'I see how passionate Celtic fans are
about their team and I could see myself making an investment if any of
the board wanted to sell.

'I don't need to run a soccer club but enough of a percentage to get me on the board so I can be heard.'

Snoop Dogg was not the only
international music star to be touched by Celtic's win over Barcelona.
Hoops fan Rod Stewart was reduced to tears as he watched from the stand
while Lennon revealed Sir Elton John phoned to congratulate him.

Drop it like it's hot: Lennon would like to be invited to one of Snoop Dogg's parties

Drop it like it's hot: Lennon would like to be invited to one of Snoop Dogg's parties

He said: 'I like Samaras a lot. He looks like a proper athlete and is a pretty dangerous player. If we are to go far in Europe, he needs to play well.'

But why Celtic Snoop says he simply loves Britain and its food, including a curry house in Scotland.

He added: 'I love Scotland. I am so happy my UK ban is up. I love British Indian restaurants, man – but the best one I ever had was in Glasgow. The food blew me away, man.

'When I am away, I like to stay in hotels and have people look after me. But if I had investment in Celtic, that's a different story. Maybe I would look for a crib over there.'

Dave King to invest in Rangers

EXCLUSIVE: Return of the King! He's got cash for a place on Rangers board

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 16 November 2012

Dave King has revealed plans to plough fresh cash into Rangers — just months after seeing a previous investment of 20million go down the drain.

The former Ibrox director won a six-year court battle with the South African Revenue Service to have a freeze on his British assets revoked last week, leaving the Johannesburg-based businessman free to invest in the UK.

And, despite the continuing fight to clear his name on 322 charges of tax evasion in South Africa, Glasgow-born King has set his sights on a return to the Ibrox boardroom, insisting there are now no issues over his ‘fit and proper’ person status.

Return: Dave King plans to invest in Rangers

Return: Dave King plans to invest in Rangers

His lingering concerns over chief executive Charles Green’s profit-based business plan mean the 57-year-old will sit out the current 20m share issue. Impressed by Walter Smith’s recruitment to the Ibrox board, however, King says he is almost ready to talk, telling Sportsmail: ‘I am certainly inclined to invest in Rangers again. I lost 20m through Rangers but I can absolutely see a scenario where I would like to return to the Rangers boardroom one day soon.

‘Any substantial investment I made in the club would incorporate that caveat. If I was going to come in with substantial sums of money then I would expect to be on the board as well.

‘I still have some concerns about the business model adopted by Charles Green. But investing in Rangers is a situation I would like to look at again towards the end of this season.

‘Clearly Charles Green might have something to say about that. And the time is not now for me to come back because Charles has a business plan which I don’t quite agree with.

‘But I would regard myself as a potential investor going forward.

‘As Rangers progress through the leagues they will need another type of investor.

Follow the leader: Ally McCoist takes charge of Rangers training

Follow the leader: Ally McCoist takes charge of Rangers training

‘The reality is that once Rangers are back in the Premier League, fans will expect them to automatically start challenging for the title and start competing in Europe again — which is what we all want.

‘But that will require extra capital in a couple of years’ time. And it will be then that people like myself will come into the equation. Because I would be willing to put money into the club on a non-profit basis.’

King put 20m into Rangers during David Murray’s tenure and lost every penny when the oldco club was plunged towards financial oblivion by former owner Craig Whyte.

Concerns over Green’s profit motive prompted his brief dalliance with the Blue Knights takeover group in the summer, as former manager Smith was fronting another splinter group funded by businessman Jim McColl.

Impressed by Green’s ability to bring Smith on side, however, King’s stance towards the current regime has softened.

‘All credit to Charles for being able to do that,’ he said. ‘It’s a great thing because it says that Charles must be getting the club going in the right direction.’

Limbering up: Rangers train ahead of their clash with East Stirling

Limbering up: Rangers train ahead of their clash with East Stirling

King was also deterred from investing in Green’s Sevco consortium by a restraining order imposed by the Crown Office on behalf of SARS.

Before having the order lifted, however, King also had 37 counts of fraud and racketeering dropped in his adopted land and insists there are now no impediments to an Ibrox return.

‘I wrote to the SFA at the end of last year when I was looking to be involved in one of the consortiums, telling them of the allegations against me and asking if this might cloud their judgment in terms of my ability to be a fit and proper person at Rangers

‘Their response was that because it was only allegations they would take representations from my legal team and if they could convince them I had a strong case then there would be no issue.

‘Now that has gone away. My assets have been freed and it’s just not an issue any more.’

Sir Chris Hoy interview – On not going to Rio, his love of speed and enjoying his life

EXCLUSIVE Sir Chris Hoy: Cycling has consumed me for 20 years and my body just won't make it to Rio

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UPDATED:

22:50 GMT, 14 November 2012

The banking of the Manchester velodrome looks steeper than ever as you watch from a hospitality box perched above one of the bends.

Bikes clap around at gravity-defying angles and Sir Chris Hoy, watching on, talks about how it helps to look forward rather than down.

The advice he dispenses to cycling beginners he is applying more broadly to himself. There will not be another Olympics for Hoy. He is 36 and the track to Rio 2016 stretches further than the eye can see.

Prospects: Sir Chris Hoy is looking forwards, not backwards, as he approaches the end of his cycling career

Prospects: Sir Chris Hoy is looking forwards, not backwards, as he approaches the end of his cycling career

His back and knees, which have squatted under the sort of weights that give you Popeye thighs, would struggle to last the distance.

'I'm definitely not going to Rio,' he confirmed, which means he is not about to 'do a Redgrave' by going back on the undertaking he made while the sweat was still wet.

'It is 100 per cent ruled out. Nothing will top London. And four years is too much to ask. We're not talking about a sport like equestrianism where you can go on to an older age.

'I think the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow would be a nice way to end it. That's only two years away and I have never competed seriously in Scotland. If it was anywhere else in the world I wouldn't even think about it. I am not expecting to be there but if I can be there, it would be great.

'You don't know how your body is going to shape up. It's whether you can maintain the performance – or improve it – without getting injured. That's the battle every athlete faces and the older you get the harder it becomes.

'You are always pushing, pushing, pushing but it is when you do that that your body can break down. In terms of doing any competition, I'll leave it until at least next summer before making a call.'

Therefore, Hoy will not be competing in the new velodrome named after him when the World Cup comes to Glasgow tomorrow, 101 days after he won the last of his six Olympic gold medals.

That'll do: Hoy wins his sixth Olympic gold medal

Greatest show

Glory days: Hoy celebrates winning his sixth Olympic gold medal (left) at the London 2012 Games

He will merely be watching an event showcasing the younger generation of British track stars: three-time Olympic champion Jason Kenny, double champion Laura Trott as well as Ed Clancy, Jess Varnish and Becky James are chief among them.

For Hoy, post-London life has been a whirl of open-top bus rides and acclamation, including being handed the freedom of his home city, Edinburgh. Ten weeks after the Olympic closing ceremony he had not spent longer than 48 hours in one place. His kitbag was still packed.

Time has now allowed him to work through Sky+ recordings, feet up, glass of wine in hand. He has just returned from holiday in America with his wife Sarra. He is, as we said, looking forward.

He loves speed, having recently flown
in a Typhoon fighter jet and enjoyed it. Motor racing beckons him.
After taking part in various track days over the last few years, he has
decided to compete in the 2013 Radical SR1 Cup with 23 fellow novices.
After instruction, he will race eight times.

'I absolutely love it,' he
says of his new car. 'There's a bit of a leap of faith throwing
yourself into the corner and braking later than you would normally in a
car that doesn't have the same downforce, so it's a whole new
experience.'

But
cycling still courses through his veins. Ask him about any aspect of it
and he has a ready answer. Divert the conversation too far and he does
not want to know. What, for example, is his take on Scottish
independence 'I think that's why they have a curtain on the booth I am
a sportsman. You'll have to ask a politician about that.'

Guest of honour: Hoy delivers the match ball before the international rugby match between Scotland and New Zealand on November 11

Guest of honour: Hoy delivers the match ball before the international rugby match between Scotland and New Zealand on November 11

I thought that a man who has been such a conspicuously fine ambassador for British sport, never failing to say the right thing, might wish to expand his statesmanship into a hinterland. No, he just does what he does, brilliantly and modestly.

At the photo-shoot that followed our
chat, he shook hands with everyone in the room, be they important or
decidedly ancillary. Anyway, motor racing is a hobby, so he is planning
his next venture in cycling.

'I have been working on this project for 18 months and this will represent my post-competitive life,' he says.

'The final touches are being put to that before we announce what it will be at the end of the month. But it will be in cycling.

Arise: Hoy is knighted by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace

Arise: Hoy is knighted by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace

'I've
been involved in cycling all my life and at a high level for 20 years.
It consumes your every waking minute whether you are aware of it or not:
your last training session, your next session, what you are eating
next.

'It is a
passion. It is almost a dream because if you had said to me when I was
10 that I'd spend all this time riding, travelling the world and being
paid to do it, I'd have taken that over being an astronaut, a racing
driver or a fireman.

'I'm
still like that kid who loves being involved in bikes. That is why I
have chosen to do what I am now embarking on. I need something else that
really excites me.'

Hoy may not have a published view on
Alex Salmond's nationalist plans but he is perfectly positioned to
deliver a verdict on sporting greatness. No other British Olympian has
won six gold medals. Sir Steve Redgrave has five. Hoy's cycling
colleague Bradley Wiggins, rower Sir Matt Pinsent and sailor Ben Ainslie
have four.

Wiggins,
whose Olympic collection amounts to four golds, one silver and two
bronze, is a national icon primarily for another reason: he is the first
British winner of the Tour de France. So does that make him better than
Redgrave

'No,' says Hoy, turning his thoughts to the ultimate saloonbar debate.

'Bradley
is responsible for the greatest single achievement by a British
sportsman. I stand by that. But as an overall achievement, Steve's
record of five consecutive golds is yet to be beaten.

'I understand what it is like to do four Games. He won gold and then defended it, and did it again and again and again. Nobody has ever done that, and until someone does, he is the greatest. And I don't think anyone will do it in such a physically demanding sport as rowing. I know a little bit about it because I rowed as a junior.'

That was at George Watson's College, an independent school in Edinburgh. Trying the political angle again, what did he make of David Cameron's view that not enough Olympic medallists came from the state sector

'I have no thoughts on that to be honest,' he said. 'I am just pleased to have had the opportunities I was given by my school and my parents.'

David and Carol, two lovely people who are happy to dine with us hacks on trips abroad, support Chris avidly, unfurling the 'Real McHoy' banner at every appropriate time. There must be something of the values they instilled in their son that has led him to be such an outspoken advocate of doping-free sport. This is sports politics, you see.

Drug free sport: Hoy says he has never been offered drugs to boost his performance

Drug free sport: Hoy says he has never been offered drugs to boost his performance

I tell him that David Millar, the reformed EPO user, disparagingly referred to him and Redgrave as 'white knights' in an interview before the Games. Hoy had not seen it. 'He is entitled to his opinion,' comes the chilly response.

'I have always had a very clear view on the matter. It is black and white. You just don't do it.' But, of course, they nearly all did, in road cycling at least. The recent Lance Armstrong revelations tell us all we need to know about the pervasive culture.

Hoy adds: 'It is disappointing to see what was going on in the past. But that is what it is: the past. That is why Team Sky (the British road team run by Dave Brailsford) was set up, almost as a riposte to the system, to say, “We are going to do it our own way”.

'We ride bikes but that is the only similarity between a track sprinter and a Tour de France rider. They are two different sports.

'I have never been offered drugs, and bear in mind all the gyms I have been to across the country. That's the truth. Maybe I'm lucky but I have never been put in that position.

'We now have the “whereabouts” system – where you have to be available to the testers at a given place for one hour each day. If you are not there, it is one strike. Three strikes and it's taken to be a positive test. It is one of the reasons why it is becoming a far cleaner and safer world in which to become a sportsperson.'

Solid gold: Diplomatic and reasonable, Hoy is well liked

Solid gold: Diplomatic and reasonable, Hoy is well liked

Hoy is a true but hard sportsman, yet he became entangled in one seemingly murky incident, when Britain's young German-born rider Philip Hindes fell off his bike in the Olympic team sprint competition. It necessitated a restart.

Hindes later told the BBC he had fallen off deliberately because he had not got away as fast as he would have liked. A minor storm blew up. Was this cheating Hindes' poor English was used as an excuse for his admission. So, too, was the notion that his comments were meant as a joke. Hoy sticks to that line.

'It was his humour,' he says. 'We were thinking, “What is he talking about” He comes out with some funny stuff. He was thrust into the limelight and I think he was a bit embarrassed about crashing.

'We take the mickey out of him sometimes but he is a good lad. You wondered if it would have repercussions but it didn't. I'm 36 and he was 19. When you are that age everything is different and new.'

Diplomatic and reasonable, nothing is new to cycling's elder statesman. Nothing, that is, but looking to the future and the rest of his life.

Sir Chris Hoy is a member of the British Cycling Team and is pictured wearing current British Cycling clothing produced by adidas. To purchase a replica, visit www.wiggle.com and to discuss British Cycling visit @adidasUK on Twitter.