U.K. Chancellor George Osborne has “granted a tax amnesty to overseas athletes competing in this summer’s London Grand Prix in the Olympic Stadium to ensure that Usain Bolt takes centre stage on the anniversary" of the Olympic Opening Ceremony, according to Simon Hart of the London TELEGRAPH. Osborne agreed to a “one-off exemption” for athletes to compete in the Diamond League event tax-free. The meet was “originally due to be staged in its traditional home of Crystal Palace but was switched to the Olympic Stadium last month to mark the first anniversary of the Games on July 27.” The meet is expected to “retain its two-day format,” and there are “high hopes that both sessions will be an 80,000 sell-out.” Under current U.K. tax rules, Bolt normally “would be paying tax not just on his earnings at the meeting but on a proportion of his entire global income," including his multimillion-dollar sponsorship deals. The exemption “affects only non-resident athletes, and covers any appearance fees, prize money and the slice of sponsorship income that would normally be taxable” (TELEGRAPH, 2/7). Bolt’s agent, Ricky Simms, said, “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 U.K. when they had options elsewhere” (London DAILY MAIL, 2/7).
Events and Attractions
Golfers from different nations will head to The Track golf course at Meydan in Dubai, UAE, "for the inaugural World Night Golf Championship" on Wednesday, according to Jaydip Sengupta of GULF NEWS. The "individual stableford event is aimed at players of different nationalities who will compete head-to-head to win the title of World Night Golf Champion for their country" as well as individual prizes from TaylorMade, Troon Golf and Meydan Hotel. It is the "first event of its kind in the city" and was designed by Troon Golf, which runs the course for Meydan Golf (GULF NEWS, 2/7).
The Golf Coaches Association of America announced Walton Heath Golf Club in Surrey, England, will host the 2014 Palmer Cup. The event will be held at Wilmington Country Club this year. The Palmer Cup is an annual Ryder Cup-style event that pits the best college players from the U.S. and Europe (GCAA). ... A "grand three-day inauguration is being planned" for the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League by IMG. The deal will be finalized after IMG holds bidding for the sponsors in Mumbai on Sunday (PTI, 2/6).