Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt and other overseas athletes will not have to pay British income tax if they compete in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the government said on Thursday, encouraging big names to build the event into their schedule.

A similar waiver is already in place for this summer's Olympics in London.

I'm pleased to announce this special exemption for Glasgow 2014 which will prolong the Olympic legacy and help spread the long-term benefits into Scotland, Treasury Minister Danny Alexander said.

Everyone wants to see the best athletes compete at Glasgow 2014 and this exemption will make that more likely, he added.

Under British rules, any athlete not resident in Britain is subject to British income tax on payment for performing here, including a proportion of their worldwide endorsement income.

Bolt, the Olympic 100 and 200 metres champion, skipped a Diamond League athletics meeting in London in 2010 because of the tax rules. There have also been fears that tennis players and golfers could also stay away from some of the smaller tournaments held in Britain.

The exemption for the 2012 Olympics was a condition of the London bid and the government does not normally extend the measure to other sporting events.

(Reporting by Keith Weir, editing by Ed Osmond)