Ayr Racecourse was the scene as professional sport returned in Scotland following the coronavirus lockdown but top-flight football clubs are still awaiting the resumption of contact training.

A nine-race meeting at Ayr behind closed doors saw Scottish sport take the first small step towards normality as racing resumed after an absence of 98 days.

The development was possible after Scotland moved into phase two of the route out of lockdown.

The Ayr meeting took place behind closed doors (Steve Davies/PA)
The Ayr meeting took place behind closed doors (Steve Davies/PA)

However, Scottish Premiership clubs are having to be patient as they await authorisation to take their pre-season programmes to the next level.

A suspension of Scottish football activity was partially lifted on June 11 for top-flight clubs only to begin socially distanced sessions.

St Mirren were the latest club to return to training on Monday but they too had to heed the strict guidelines.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “While professional sport behind closed doors can resume from June 22, the resumption of individual sports – and contact training – is subject to ministerial approval of detailed public health plans prepared by the sports.

“We are aware football has set a provisional resumption date of August 1 and we are currently considering proposals to allow contact training to resume before then with supporting public health measures.”

Scotland’s professional rugby players have made their first steps back to training.

The Scottish Rugby Union has invited players in for voluntary fitness sessions at BT Murrayfield this week. Edinburgh players attended on Monday with Glasgow squad members due in on Tuesday.

The teams are due to meet twice in late August in a truncated finale to the regular Guinness PRO14 season, with Edinburgh set to contest the play-offs.


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