By Tom Degun

Charles van_Commenee_14-02-12February 14 - UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee (pictured) has given a major indication that he would like to see his top British athletes, including the likes of Jessica Ennis and Phillips Idowu, compete at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Many of the world's top athletes, including Jamaica's triple Olympic champion Usain Bolt, boycotted the last Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010 with the likes of Idowu citing safety and security fears in the Indian capital as his reason for missing the event.

Glasgow 2014 organisers are pushing hard to ensure that a similar occurrence does not happen in the Scottish city and they will therefore be heartened by the UK Athletics head coach backing his top athletes to go to the competition after missing Delhi 2010.

"Delhi had to do with the location, not so much with the timing," he told The Herald Newspaper in Scotland.

"The Commonwealth Games is a serious event.

"I think it's in everybody's diary for 2014."

Glasgow 2014's head of sport Greg Warnecke welcomed the comments from van Commenee as a huge boost for the event.

"This recognition of the Commonwealth Games' impact by Mr van Commenee is very welcome and timely as we continue to ramp up our preparations to deliver an athlete centred, sport focused Games in 2014," he said.

"The 11 days of world class competition at Glasgow 2014 will be an exciting festival of sport, bringing some of the world's best athletes to Scotland to compete across the 17 Games sports.

"As we get set to host an outstanding Commonwealth Games, we're delighted to have such positive endorsement from such a key figure in world athletics."

The endorsement for the Commonwealth Games Movement comes shortly after the HM Treasury's announcement that athletes from outside the UK who compete at the event will not have to pay income tax.

It is an incentive designed to try to ensure high-profile stars like Jamaica's Usain Bolt compete at Glasgow 2014 and mirrors a similar measure already in place for the London 2012 Olympics.

Under UK tax rules, any sportsperson not resident in the UK is subject to income tax on any payment in connection with their performance in the country, including a proportion of any worldwide endorsement income.

The controversial rule has also already led to Bolt refusing to compete in Britain's flagship athletics meetings, including the London Grand Prix.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]ethegames.biz


Related stories
January 2012: Glasgow 2014 hope tax break will attract top athletes to Commonwealth Games