Triple London 2012 Olympic champion Usain Bolt has refused to compete in the UK again until the country changes its tax laws.
The sprinter, who won gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 4×100m relay at the Games in London, objects to a law that sees him taxed on global sponsorship and endorsement earnings as well as any appearance fee — levied at the 50pc higher earning rate — when he competes in Britain.
And despite setting a new world record during the Olympics, the 25 year-old, who earns an estimated $20m (£12.7m) a year, says his UK-based fans won’t see him compete until the tax laws are loosened.
“As soon as the law changes I’ll be here all the time,” Bolt said. “I love being here, I have so many Jamaican fans here and it’s wonderful.”
Glyn Bunting, a partner at Deloitte, told Radio 4 that HMRC would not only want a slice of Bolt’s winnings in the UK but also his £12.5m sponsorship deal with Puma.
“Usain Bolt will be paid a considerable amount of money to wear a particular brand of clothing or a particular type of racing shoe and HMRC wants its share of that income,” Mr Bunting said.
Get that man a tricorn hat!