Duncan Mackay

Duncan Mackay


Duncan Mackay is the editor of insidethegames.biz.

Awards include British Sports Writer of the Year and British News Story of the Year in 2004 and British Sports Internet Reporter of the Year in 2009.

Mackay is one of Britain's best-connected journalists and during the 16 years he worked at The Guardian and The Observer he regularly broke a number of major exclusive stories, including the news that British sprinter Dwain Chambers had tested positive for banned performance enhancing drugs.

He was the first journalist to alert the world to the fact that Greek sprinters Kostas Kederis and Ekaterina Thanou were under suspicion of using drugs and deliberately avoiding doping tests. Mackay's ground-breaking stories were recognised when he was voted the British Sports Journalist of the Year in 2004 and, in the same year, won the British Sports News Story of the Year.

His impeccable contacts within the Olympic Movement were also brilliantly demonstrated when in 2005 on the morning of the vote to decide which city would host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games he was the only British journalist to predict correctly that London would beat Paris.

Mackay was also the only journalist to carry the Olympic Torch when it passed through London on its way to Beijing in April 2008. This was followed by him carrying the London 2012 Olympic Torch through Wimbledon where he handed the Torch to tennis star Andy Murray outside Centre Court.

Mackay regularly appears on Sky News, BBC News 24, BBC World, Sky Sports News, BBC Radio 5 live and CNBC, as well as several other radio and television stations around the world including several Japanese television stations. He has written several books, including the highly critically-acclaimed Running Scared: How Athletics Lost its Innocence, Linford Christie, The History of the Olympics and China Gold: China's Quest for Global Power and Olympic Glory.

In 2005, Mackay launched, and was the editor of insidethegames.biz.

They were followed in 2009 by insideworldparasport.biz and insideworldfootball.biz. 

The success of the sites led to Mackay being voted British Sports Internet Reporter of the Year in 2009.

Mackay has attended seven Summer and eight Winter Olympic Games, six Commonwealth Games, 26 London Marathons, amongst many other international sporting events worldwide, including two FIFA World Cup Finals. 

Neil Shefferd

Neil Shefferd

Desk Editor

Neil Shefferd is a desk editor with insidethegames.biz

Neil has worked as a reporter at a host of Johnston Press newspapers in Buckinghamshire and surrounding counties since 2013, including The Bucks Herald and The Buckingham and Winslow Advertiser. 

Among the events he has reported on live are the 2016 Paralympic Heritage Flame Lighting Ceremony at Stoke Mandeville. 

Neil graduated from the University of Bedfordshire with a first-class honours degree in sports journalism in 2013.

 While at the university, he presented a weekly show called The Sports Breakfast on the university’s radio station Radio LaB 97.1FM.

Vimal Sankar

Vimal Sankar

Desk Editor

Before joining insidethegames.biz, Vimal worked as a senior reporter with The New Indian Express for four years.

He has covered football, athletics, and other Olympic sports in India and attended international events such as the U-17 FIFA World Cup, Asian Wrestling Championships, and major events in badminton and boxing. He also had a brief stint with Wisden India. Vimal graduated with a distinction in MSc Sport Management from Loughborough University in September 2021. He got his Bachelor’s in Journalism from Madras Christian College in 2015.

David Owen

David Owen

Chief Columnist

David Owen is a former sports editor of the Financial Times and chief columnist for insidethegames.biz.

He has had a hand in covering four football World Cups, four Summer Olympics, a G7 Summit and a string of party conferences for the FT, along with general elections in three different countries.

He also reported on the landmark 2001, 2005, 2013 International Olympic Committee Sessions, the 1999 Rugby World Cup, the 2002 Ryder Cup, Euro 2004 and the spectacular 2005 Ashes Series that gripped Britain like no other sports event in a generation. Big-name interviews have included Cathy Freeman, Philippe Sella, Shane Warne, Nick Faldo and the Spanish footballer Raúl. He has written about 30 or more sports in all.

Much of his sports writing has a business slant and he enjoys exceptional contacts with leading international sports administrators in the Olympic Movement and beyond. Under his sports editorship, Sepp Blatter, the FIFA President, became an occasional and much-read FT columnist.

Owen has broken numerous exclusives stories for insidethegames.biz. These include: The IOC’s TOP sponsorship programme was due to break the $1 billion barrier, the Rio lab had failed a "blind test", wrestling had raised its out of competition anti-doping testing in its 2020 campaign, the British Olympic Committee extends its overdraft facility post London 2012, the move by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to place a bulk order for human growth hormone testing kits ahead of 2008’s Beijing Olympics and word that FIFA was considering staging the bidding contests for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups at the same time.

He is also the author of a book of cricket stories called "Rain Starts Play" and his latest book on horse racing, "Foinavon: The Story of the Grand National's Biggest Upset" (Wisden Sports Writing) has just been published.

Mike Rowbottom

Mike Rowbottom

Chief Feature Writer

Mike Rowbottom, one of Britain's most talented sportswriters, covered the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics as chief feature writer for insidethegames.biz, having covered the previous five Summer Games, and four Winter Games, for The Independent.

An assessment of his time at The Independent by the Sports Journalists' Association observed: "His well-balanced and gentle work is widely admired by colleagues and athletes alike. Indeed, for a long spell, Rowbottom had the dubious honour of being perhaps the only member of the British athletics press corps to whom Linford Christie would speak.

"His work at the paper included a highly regarded weekly column that took a humorous look at sport. His co-authored biography with Olympic silver medallist, Roger Black, How Long's the Course? was very well reviewed."

In 2010 Rowbottom’s book Usain Bolt – Fast as Lightning was published by BlackAmber Inspirations.

In 2013 his latest book, Foul Play – The Dark Arts of Cheating in Sport received widespread media coverage including Radio 4’s Today Programme and talkSPORT, which featured it as book of the week. It was also named book of the week in publications ranging from Rugby World to The Independent on Sunday, the latter describing it as "A timely book ... This is an illuminating, entertaining excursion into sport's moral maze. Fair play to the author."

Rowbottom has also worked for the Daily Mail, The Times, The Observer and The Guardian.

The subjects of his Olympic articles over the last 26 years have included Torvill and Dean, Linford Christie, Tonya Harding, Sally Gunnell, Steve Redgrave, Wayne Gretsky, Katerina Witt, Carl Lewis, Paula Radcliffe, Michelle Kwan, Kelly Holmes, Rhona Martin, Usain Bolt, Christine Ohuruogu, Amir Khan and Sir Chris Hoy.

Rowbottom also writes regularly for the International Association of Athletics Federations website, covering the Diamond League as well as championship events, as well as for European Athletics. He has also been a regular contributor in the past six years to Rowing & Regatta, British Rowing’s magazine, for whom he completed a 12-part series on past Olympians.

Having run his first London Marathon in 2011, our feature writer is just getting round to running his second somewhere.

Philip Barker

Philip Barker

Olympic Historian

Barker is a writer, broadcaster and regular contributor to insidethegames.biz since 2009.

London born and educated at the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe and University of Lancaster. He was part of the team which launched TransWorld Sport and subsequently worked for Eurosport, Skysports, Sky Sports News, London Tonight and the ITV breakfast programme.

A specialist in Olympic history, he has commentated for television on the lighting of the Olympic flame and also on the voting sessions which accorded the Games to London and Rio. Has commentated on football, athletics and reported on a range of other sports for tv and radio.

Author of The Story of the Olympic Torch, Lord’s firsts, Wycombe Wanderers in Camera and Five Rings above Britain, he has also contributed to Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack. He is associate editor of the Journal of Olympic History.

Brian Oliver

Brian Oliver

Brian Oliver has worked at the Olympic Games as a news editor, sports editor, specialist correspondent and, at London 2012, media manager for weightlifting. 

He was at the Daily Telegraph for 15 years before a 13-year stint as sports editor of The Observer, the world's oldest Sunday newspaper.

Oliver left The Observer to work at London 2012 and later became a freelance journalist, in which role he has written about weightlifting and other sports for insidethegames.bizHe wrote a book about the Commonwealth Games to coincide with the Glasgow 2014 Games, at which he was also weightlifting media manager.

He was awarded an honorary doctorate for services to sports journalism by the University of Brighton in 2011.

Daniel Palmer

Daniel Palmer

Dan Palmer is the Editorial Manager for Client Accounts, Special Projects and Magazines at insidethegames.biz. His role includes managing and editing every edition of The insidethegames.biz Magazine.

He was Desk Editor between August 2015 and March 2019, and then spent two years as Middle East Correspondent while living in Amman in Jordan. He has now returned to the UK.

Palmer started his journalism career in Scotland with the Stranraer & Wigtownshire Free Press, which he joined in 2009.

He joined the Milton Keynes News as the paper’s sports reporter in 2011. This involved covering the city’s Olympians, including London 2012 long jump champion Greg Rutherford.

In March 2013, Palmer was promoted to sports editor and assumed responsibilities for sport in six further newspapers, the Bedfordshire On Sunday, Luton On Sunday, Luton & Dunstable Express, Bedford Midweek, Northamptonshire Herald & Post and Wellingborough Herald & Post.

In 2014, Palmer was part of the Milton Keynes News team which was nominated for best weekly newspaper at the Newspaper Awards and he was a member of the Bedfordshire On Sunday team nominated for best free weekly newspaper at the East of England Awards.

He was named as one of the top 100 football bloggers by The Guardian in 2011 and was nominated for best newcomer at the Iliffe News Media Awards in 2011.

Palmer graduated with a Master’s degree in Newspaper Journalism from Nottingham Trent University in 2008, which was achieved with commendation. He also has an undergraduate degree in International History and International Politics which he earned at the University of Sheffield in 2006.

Geoff Berkeley

Geoff Berkeley

Chief Senior Reporter

Before taking up his role with insidethegames.biz, Geoff Berkeley spent much of his journalism career working for local newspapers in the West Midlands.

 After joining the Worcester Observer as a trainee reporter in 2011, Berkeley rose through the ranks at Bullivant Media to become editor of the Malvern Observer and sports editor of the Bromsgrove Standard.

In 2015, Berkeley moved to the Worcester News where he was nominated for Sports Journalist of the Year at the Midlands Media Awards for two successive years in recognition of his coverage of Worcester City Football Club.

He also had a spell as the Worcester Warriors correspondent for the Newsquest title before moving to London to join Sportsbeat as a senior reporter at the beginning of 2020.

After being furloughed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Berkeley provided communications support for KEMP Hospice where he told the stories of patients, volunteers and staff during lockdown.

Berkeley graduated from the University of Central Lancashire with a BA honours degree in Sports Journalism in 2010.

Owen Llyod

Owen Lloyd


Owen Lloyd is a junior reporter with insidethegames.biz having joined the team in 2021.

Lloyd has previously worked with Badminton England at the All England Open Badminton Championships, covered the 2019 General Election and hosted a radio show on local station Voice FM.

He graduated from Solent University in 2021 with a 2:1 in Sports Journalism, where his final project examined diversity in rowing.

Lloyd has interviewed several professional athletes including James Fox , Viktor Axelsen and Laurie Evans.

Patrick Burke

Patrick Burke


Patrick Burke was born on the Wirral, where he started out as the programme editor for local non-league football club Cammell Laird 1907 in 2014 at the age of 15. 

He went on to serve as the club’s media officer for six years, all on a voluntary basis.

In 2019, he won the Programme of the Year award for the North West Counties Football League First Division South. During this time, he also produced work for the NWCFL, as well as interviews and match reports for the local press. While away from work, he continues to support the club with its media output.

He studied History at the University of Sheffield from 2017, graduating with a first-class honours degree in 2020 where his dissertation was on the People’s Olympiad in Barcelona in 1936. Whilst at Sheffield Burke was Sports Editor and then Deputy Editor of Forge Press, one of the United Kingdom’s leading student newspapers.

Burke spent a summer studying at Waseda University in Tokyo in 2018, and during sixth form travelled to Sierra Leone on an immersion retreat as well as the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

He studied for his Master’s degree in Historical Research from October 2020 at the University of Sheffield, and joined insidethegames.biz in July 2021.

Sarah Bowron

Sarah Bowron

Managing Director

Sarah has worked in many different areas, but her main background is musical theatre.

Since launching insidethegames.biz, Bowron has ensured the company’s performance has made them the leading publication within the Olympic Movement and this was rewarded in 2017 when insidethegames.biz was voted Best in Sports Media at the Sports Business Awards in the UK. 

She has overseen the commercial growth of insidethegames.biz in recent years and helps drive the financial success of the company. Bowron also deals with contractual issues and human resources. Basically, if it is not editorial-related then she deals with it. 

Bowron's first Olympic Games was Vancouver 2010, followed by the first ever Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010, followed by the first Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck in 2012 and, of course, London 2012.

Sarah has attended five IOC Sessions.

Lidia Vynogradna

Lidia Vynogradna

Senior Business Development Manager

Before leaving Ukraine in March 2022, Lidia worked for several big international retailing companies. 

She is an international judge in rhythmic gymnastics and has been to the Olympic Games, the Youth Olympic Games, the European Games, the World Games and the World University Games.

In 2015, she received a letter of excellence following her work at the World Championships.

Lidia had a dedicated blog for a Ukrainian news agency on the transparency of judging in gymnastics, and created an educational tool for national and international judges which is now used by 1,200 judges globally. 

She served as technical director at the European Championships 2020, held in Kyiv, Ukraine. 

This was the first continental championships to have taken place since the start of the pandemic.

Lidia Vynogradna

Anna Nepyivoda

Office Manager

Anna is from Ukraine, which she left with her mother in April 2022.

She has previously worked for various customer service and retail companies, both in Ukraine and the UK.

Anna is also a student at a Ukrainian university, studying international relations.

Anna’s favourite sport is football and her favourite player is Lionel Messi.

She is a fan of the Ukrainian national team.

Alex Crawford

Alex Crawford

Website Developer

Alex Crawford, who graduated from the University of Liverpool with a BSc honours degree in Chemistry, is a website developer for insidethegames.biz.

Alex is responsible for the development and supervision of the design, layout and coding of the insidethegames.biz website and mobile site.

Alex has impeccable skills in software programming and graphics and has a vast knowledge of advances in computer technology.

When Alex is not working, he volunteers for the RNLI as a helmsman. Alex is also a keen runner and ran Plymouth Half Marathon in 2011, London Marathon and National Lottery Olympic Park run in 2012, and the National Lottery Anniversary run in 2013.