Page last updated at 23:34 GMT, Thursday, 4 September 2008 00:34 UK

Hoy angry at political 'cash-ins'

Chris Hoy
Chris Hoy has become a national hero in Scotland

Olympic cycling hero Chris Hoy has said he feels politicians have attempted to "cash in" on his success in Beijing.

Hoy said he was annoyed at being drawn into the debate on whether there should be a separate Scottish Olympics team.

He said: "I ride a bike, I'm not a politician. Politicians want to be involved so that they can get some sort of association with your success."

The triple gold medals winner is expected to attend an Edinburgh Castle reception on Friday.

On this issue of a Scottish team, Hoy - Scotland's most successful Olympian - has previously spoken out against those who called for a separate team for the next Games.

He said: "If there was a Scottish team in the Olympics, of course I'd want to be part of it, just like I am at the Commonwealth Games.

The facilities need to be there so that Scottish athletes can survive in Scotland and have access to the right coaching and support
Chris Hoy

"But I felt the politicians were just trying to cash in on our success."

Hoy said his objection to a Scottish team was not because of a lack of national pride, but based on feasibility.

"If the politicians are serious about it then great, but show us that you're serious," he said.

"I have to be very careful about what I say, but I stand by what I said in terms of the call for a Scottish team to be entered into the Olympics.

"Before you even start thinking about that, you have to show commitment and put your money where your mouth is.

"The facilities need to be there so that Scottish athletes can survive in Scotland and have access to the right coaching and support. In cycling, that's just not the case so we could not base ourselves there."

Celebrate success

Prime Minister Gordon Brown mentioned Hoy during his speech at a CBI Scotland dinner on Thursday.

He said: "As our triple gold medallist Chris Hoy said - 'Scotland is part of Britain - they are not mutually exclusive. I wouldn't have three gold medals hanging round my neck if I wasn't part of the British team'."

The reception to celebrate the achievements of Scotland's Olympic athletes is being held in the Great Hall of Edinburgh Castle on Friday is being hosted by Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, and is to celebrate the achievements of Scotland's Olympic athletes.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "What is important is the fantastic success of Chris and the other Scottish Olympians in Beijing.

"Scottish Government ministers are looking forward immensely to celebrating their success at the reception at Edinburgh Castle."


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