Around eleven percent of the Team Great Britain members are overseas-born athletes, or plastic Brits. This fact has angered many, who believe they are taking the place of home-grown competitors at the London Olympics.
This issue is expected to be scrutinized after a research revealed that of the 542 Team GB members who were announced on Monday, 61 i.e. 11 per cent of them, were born abroad
AdvertisementSome athletes were born away from home to British parents, though the vast majority are dual nationals who joined the GB ranks only after London was chosen as the 2012 host city seven years ago.
The number also includes some competitors who have gained British citizenship through residency, such as Cuban-born triple jumper Yamile Aldama and wrestler Olga Butkevych, who was born in Ukraine but received her UK passport only a couple of months ago.
Aldama is one of eight in the squad who have competed at some point in their careers for another nation.
Andy Hunt, the chief executive of the British Olympic Association, insists Britain's Olympic selection rules are clear and fair.
"There are no Plastic Brits. As far as I'm concerned, if you're a British citizen with a British passport and you are eligible to compete for this country, then fantastic. If you win a place on merit, you should be in the team. I have absolutely no problem with that at all," The Telegraph quoted Hunt, as saying.
"If you actually look at our eligibility rules in this country, it's very, very hard to get citizenship compared to other countries. We don't do passport trading as many nations do," he added.
"Yes, we've got a number of individuals in the team who are dual passport-holders or who have gained nationality over the last few years, but I'm comfortable with where we've got to, and there are no Plastic Brits," he said.
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