London hope to catch the attention of Bolt
Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt and other overseas athletes will be able to compete tax free in this year’s London Diamond League event after the British government agreed to tax exemptions.
Bolt, who won three gold medals at last year’s London Olympic Games, had not raced previously in the United Kingdom since 2009 because of tax rules.
Under British law, non-residents are required to pay a 50 per cent tax rate on their appearance fee, and also cough up a quantity of their worldwide endorsement income.
The regulation has forced Bolt, the reigning Olympic 100 and 200 metres champion, to opt out of the London Aviva Grand Prix for the last two years.
“It’s like me asking you to come to work today and pay me three times what you’re getting,” declared Bolt’s agent, Ricky Simms.
“For anyone who earns over a million dollars a year, it doesn’t make sense for them to come to Britain.”
Bolt has yet to confirm his attendance at the London Diamond league event.
The games have been switched from its traditional Crystal Palace home to the Olympic Stadium to mark its first anniversary on July 27.