Leave Sir Chris alone. The man is a national institution, set to equal the British record for Olympic golds and strongly tipped to carry our flag in the opening ceremony for the Games.

How dare the Guardian slag off our greatest-ever track rider by linking him with last week’s tax avoidance scandal?

The broadsheet compared Hoy’s conduct to the antics of comedian Jimmy Carr, who used a company to slash his tax burden.

The paper then complained: “But if some might expect such behaviour from a footballer, or even a comedian, what about an Olympic hero whose sporting development is at least partly the result of lottery funding?”

Hoy hit back with a heartfelt statement to set the record straight: “Everything I have done is as a UK resident, and is UK taxable and not offshore. My
lottery funding, which I am very grateful for, stopped in October 2008. I am very proudly British. I take my responsibilities as a taxpayer as seriously as I do as an athlete. I sincerely hope this misleading article does not affect the British support I know I will need to perform at my best in London.”

Surely Sir Chris doesn’t deserve this pointless bickering, there’s something a lot bigger at stake here: Olympic success.

Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly

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Sir Chris Hoy denies allegations of tax avoidance