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Scottish athletes will face a difficult question if Scotland votes itself independent on 18 September. Representing your country represents the pinnacle of most athletes’ careers. However, if that representation could mean compromising your true potential by agreeing to a potentially reduced level of funding and inferior training facilities, is it really worth it? On the other hand, will you be rejected by your fellow countrymen if you choose otherwise?
Many Scottish athletes will also be approaching the top of their game ahead of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics. Scotland has set a target date of March 2016 for independence, just three months before the Olympics. Will athletes be prepared to gamble that independence will be implemented on time – and IOC recognition granted speedily – in order for them to be able to represent Scotland in Rio?
Other issues to do with independence have not even been considered. Rangers and Hibernian have sponsorship deals with online gambling companies, as does William Hill to sponsor the Scottish Sprint Cup (horseracing). What happens to those deals should Scotland vote for independence? Nobody seems to be sure.
There will be a huge amount of work to do in sorting out athlete, administrative and commercial issues affecting sport, if Scotland does vote yes. The uncertainty over how all of these issues will be resolved means that for Scottish sport, freedom may come at a price.