By Gary Anderson

Scotland's Sir Chris Hoy had backed the campaign for Scotland to remain in the United Kingdom ©Getty ImagesInternational Olympic Committee (IOC) vice-president Sir Craig Reedie has told insidethegames that the result of the Scottish independence referendum has removed any uncertainty over the future of sport in Great Britain. 

Scotsman Sir Craig, who is also President of the World Anti-Doping Agency, had been a supporter of the "No" campaign and welcomed the result of the referendum.

In the lead-up to the referendum, Sir Craig raised concerns over the timeframe of setting up a National Olympic Committee (NOC) in Scotland in time for Rio 2016, as the provisional date set for independence of March 2016 would have left around four months for a NOC to be established.

"The debate has been resolved and any uncertainty over Olympic sport in Britain has now been removed," Sir Craig, who is also a former chairman of the British Olympic Association (BOA), told insidethegames.

Chief executive of the British Paralympic Association, Tim Hollingsworth welcomed the referendum result telling insidethegames: "This referendum was never about sport, but we are pleased that the result means that we can continue to include Scottish athletes and their support staff in our team in future Paralympic Games.

"They have been and will again be a significant element of both our summer and winter Paralympic teams."

A spokesperson for the BOA meanwhile told insidethegames: "We are looking forward to continuing our detailed planning for Team GB as we prepare for the forthcoming Olympic Youth Festival early next year, the Baku 2015 European Games and of course Rio 2016."

A multitude of issues surrounding eligibility and funding of Scottish sport and its athletes has been avoided after the referendum results were announced early this morning, which confirmed that 55 per cent of Scotland voted to remain as part of the United Kingdom, while 45 per cent voted for independence.

A record turnout of 85 per cent took part in the referendum, with just over two million voting to maintain the Union versus 1.6 million who wanted Scotland to go it alone.

Of the 32 councils in Scotland, 28 voted "No" while only four voted "Yes" to independence including Glasgow, which hosted this year's Commonwealth Games.

Supporters of Scottish independence were left disappointed after the majority of the country voted to remain part of the United Kingdom in yesterday's referendum ©Getty ImagesSupporters of Scottish independence were left disappointed after the majority of the country voted to remain part of the United Kingdom in yesterday's referendum ©Getty Images

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond, who led the "Yes" campaign called for unity when accepting defeat before later announcing his intention to step down from the role and as leader of the Scottish National Party.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said he was delighted the UK would remain together.

He also announced that chairman of the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee, Lord Smith of Kelvin, has been appointed to oversee the delivery of extra powers promised to Scotland from the Government in Westminster.

Scotland has been part of the United Kingdom for more than 300 years and the possibility of independence could have seen Scottish athletes ineligible to compete for Britain at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games and beyond.

Scottish athletes secured 13 of Britain's 65 medals at London 2012 with Andy Murray, Katherine Grainger and Sir Chris Hoy claiming gold.

Track cyclist Sir Chris is the most successful British athlete in Olympic history, winning six gold medals and one silver across four Games from 2000 to 2012.

Hoy had backed the "No" campaign, as did a number of other high profile Scottish athletes, including Commonwealth Games 800 metre silver medallist Lynsey Sharp.

Sharp was part of the British athletics squad at London 2012 and chairman of UK Athletics, Ed Warner believes the referendum vote will strengthen the sport both in terms of medal success and the provision of facilities.

"For the sake of the integrity of our elite performance system across Britain, then clearly it is a pleasing outcome," Warner said, speaking to insidethegames.

"The economies of scale you get from having a large group of athletes training in centralised locations with shared coaching, sports science, medicine, physiotherapy and sports psychology infrastructure, then it would have been a disappointing situation if you ended up with a need for Scotland to try and replicate the elite facilities that are available centrally to Britain's best athletes.

"A British team combined across the four Home Countries is likely overtime to be delivering greater medal success than if countries were operating independently."

That was a sentiment echoed by British Swimming chief executive David Sparkes telling insidethegames: "British Swimming are delighted we now have clarity about this matter and the people of Scotland have spoken.

"We will continue to work with Scotland and all Scottish agencies to ensure we have the best possible preparation for Rio."

Glaswegian rower Katherine Grainger poses in her Team GB kit and with her London 2012 gold medal ©Getty ImagesGlaswegian rower Katherine Grainger poses in her Team GB kit and with her London 2012 gold medal ©Getty Images

Had Scotland chosen to go down the independence route it is not clear how much of the £350 million ($585 million/€422 million) of National Lottery and Exchequer funds awarded by UK Sport to Britain's Olympic and Paralympic programmes would have been handed over to support Scottish athletes, who currently avail of around 10 per cent of the funding during the Rio 2016 cycle.

Since National Lottery funding was introduced in 1997 to help British sport to prepare for the Olympics and Paralympics, Team GB have become one of the leading nations in the world.

After finishing 36th on the medal table at Atlanta 1996, Britain finished third overall behind only the United States and China with a total of 65 medals, 29 of them gold at London 2012.

With Scottish athletes remaining part of the Team GB set-up, chairman of UK Sport, Rod Carr is confident that Britain can continue its Olympic success.

"Britain's elite sport system has proven to be up there with the best in the world with our athletes performances in Beijing, London and Sochi," Carr told insidethegames.

"Today's decision means UK Sport can continue with its plans and preparations for Rio 2016 and beyond."

Meanwhile, former Wimbledon champion and London 2012 gold medallist Murray had pinned his allegiance to the independence mast prior to yesterday's referendum which led to the tennis star receiving a raft of abusive and threatening messages on social media site Twitter prompting police to launch an investigation.

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