Inside Lines: Why playing political game could block high road to Rio

 

One man keeping an anxious eye on the antics of Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, amid growing concerns that the Commonwealth Games are being politically hijacked in the campaign for independence is fellow Scot Sir Craig Reedie.

A Glaswegian himself, the International Olympic Committee vice-president will want to see strict adherence to the IOC rule – and that of the Commonwealth Games Federation – that the Games must not be manipulated as a political vehicle. The embarrassing attempt to get the Red Arrows to trail blue and white smoke – the colours of the Saltire – rather than traditional unionist red, white and blue in the opening-ceremony fly-past has already caused top-level alarm, as did Salmond doing the Braveheart bit and calling Glasgow "Freedom City" after declaring that a yes vote would prevail on 18 September. Reedie, 73, finds himself in a tricky situation. A former chair of the British Olympic Association, principal architect of a successful London 2012 and now president of the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada), he is known to be opposed to Scottish independence, yet wearing his IOC hat he would be expected to help expedite Scotland's wish to compete as a separate nation in Rio 2016 should the referendum be affirmative. Such an eventuality would need to be fast-tracked by the IOC but precedence suggests they may be compliant, as they were with Montenegro for Beijing 2008. Another Scottish knight against his nation splitting from Britain is their most iconic Olympian, Sir Chris Hoy. The increasingly statesmanlike demeanour of the retired cycling legend, who sorted the Games baton paper jam which embarrassingly held up the Queen's opening message, suggests future membership of the IOC. But would he represent GB or Scotland?

Common ground

The United States couldn't give a caber's toss about Glasgow's showpiece. To them it is just a cosy garden party or a village fete. An insignificant little brother to the Olympics. Yet here's an irony. America may not give a damn about Glasgow 2014 but one of their citizens is actually in charge of it – and when it finishes he will be running the whole Commonwealth Games shooting match. Ex-wrestler David Grevemberg, a native of New Orleans, is Glasgow 2014 chief executive and in November he will take over from New Zealander Mike Hooper as head honcho of the Commonwealth Games Federation. Apparently he beat three British rivals for the job.

Flanagan's new print run

As one of Britain's leading national athletics coaches, Tom McNab was rarely seen without a stopwatch. Now 80, his sense of timing prevails, for his 1982 widely acclaimed global bestseller Flanagan's Run, one of the outstanding sports novels, has been republished in paperback (Sandstone Press, £8.99) to coincide with the Commonwealth Games. Set in 1931 at the height of the depression, the story covers an epic 3,000-mile foot race across the United States, from Los Angeles to New York with 2,000 runners competing for a prize of $150,000. En route they encounter deserts, mountains, shady mobsters and crooked officials. Nothing like Glasgow, of course. But dipping into it might compensate McNab's fellow Glaswegians for missing out on Farah's Run.

Pyramid scheme

Forty years after arm-twisting dodgy presidents to bankroll the "Rumble in the Jungle" and the "Thrilla in Manila", Don King is at it again. The 82-year-old wants Egypt's new rulers to underwrite a world heavyweight title fight in Cairo, held in the shadow of the Pyramids, and call it "King of the Nile". Is he away with the Pharoahs?

a.hubbard@independent.co.uk

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk