Duncan Mackay

Duncan Mackay


Duncan Mackay is the editor of insidethegames.biz.

Awards include British Sports Writer of the Year and British News Story of the Year in 2004 and British Sports Internet Reporter of the Year in 2009.

Mackay is one of Britain's best-connected journalists and during the 16 years he worked at The Guardian and The Observer he regularly broke a number of major exclusive stories, including the news that British sprinter Dwain Chambers had tested positive for banned performance enhancing drugs.

He was the first journalist to alert the world to the fact that Greek sprinters Kostas Kederis and Ekaterina Thanou were under suspicion of using drugs and deliberately avoiding doping tests. Mackay's ground-breaking stories were recognised when he was voted the British Sports Journalist of the Year in 2004 and, in the same year, won the British Sports News Story of the Year.

His impeccable contacts within the Olympic Movement were also brilliantly demonstrated when in 2005 on the morning of the vote to decide which city would host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games he was the only British journalist to predict correctly that London would beat Paris.

Mackay was also the only journalist to carry the Olympic Torch when it passed through London on its way to Beijing in April 2008. This was followed by him carrying the London 2012 Olympic Torch through Wimbledon where he handed the Torch to tennis star Andy Murray outside Centre Court.

Mackay regularly appears on Sky News, BBC News 24, BBC World, Sky Sports News, BBC Radio 5 live and CNBC, as well as several other radio and television stations around the world including several Japanese television stations. He has written several books, including the highly critically-acclaimed Running Scared: How Athletics Lost its Innocence, Linford Christie, The History of the Olympics and China Gold: China's Quest for Global Power and Olympic Glory.

In 2005, Mackay launched, and was the editor of insidethegames.biz.

They were followed in 2009 by insideworldparasport.biz and insideworldfootball.biz. 

The success of the sites led to Mackay being voted British Sports Internet Reporter of the Year in 2009.

Mackay has attended seven Summer and eight Winter Olympic Games, six Commonwealth Games, 26 London Marathons, amongst many other international sporting events worldwide, including two FIFA World Cup Finals. 

Ali Iveson

Ali Iveson

Desk Editor

Ali Iveson is a Desk Editor with insidethegames.biz, having joined the team in 2020. 

He has previously worked in local television news and spent time covering American sports leagues and beyond for a streaming service. 

Iveson has a multi-media background, is a seasoned writer of text commentary of football matches and once covered Southampton for various podcasts and websites. 

He graduated from the University of Kent with a first-class degree in journalism in 2016, with a final project examining the over-representation of left-handers in sport.

Neil Shefferd

Neil Shefferd

Desk Editor

Neil Shefferd is a desk editor with insidethegames.biz. 

Neil has worked as a reporter at a host of Johnston Press newspapers in Buckinghamshire and surrounding counties since 2013, including The Bucks Herald and The Buckingham and Winslow Advertiser. 

Among the events he has reported on live are the 2016 Paralympic Heritage Flame Lighting Ceremony at Stoke Mandeville. 

Neil graduated from the University of Bedfordshire with a first-class honours degree in sports journalism in 2013.

 While at the university, he presented a weekly show called The Sports Breakfast on the university’s radio station Radio LaB 97.1FM.

Daniel Palmer

Daniel Palmer

Middle East Correspondent and Magazine Editor

Dan Palmer is the Middle East Correspondent at insidethegames.biz. He was Desk Editor between August 2015 and March 2019, and now lives and works in Amman, Jordan.

Palmer started his journalism career in Scotland with the Stranraer & Wigtownshire Free Press, who he joined in 2009. He joined the Milton Keynes News as the paper’s sports reporter in 2011. This involved covering the city’s Olympians, including London 2012 long jump champion Greg Rutherford.

In March 2013, Palmer was promoted to sports editor and assumed responsibilities for sport in six further newspapers, the Bedfordshire On Sunday, Luton On Sunday, Luton & Dunstable Express, Bedford Midweek, Northamptonshire Herald & Post and Wellingborough Herald & Post.

In 2014, Palmer was part of the Milton Keynes News team which was nominated for best weekly newspaper at the Newspaper Awards and he was a member of the Bedfordshire On Sunday team nominated for best free weekly newspaper at the East of England Awards. He was named as one of the top 100 football bloggers by The Guardian in 2011 and was nominated for best newcomer at the Iliffe News Media Awards in 2011.

Palmer graduated with a Master’s degree in Newspaper Journalism from Nottingham Trent University in 2008, which was achieved with commendation. He also has an undergraduate degree in International History and International Politics which he earned at the University of Sheffield in 2006.

David Owen

David Owen

Chief Columnist

David Owen is a former sports editor of the Financial Times and chief columnist for insidethegames.biz.

He has had a hand in covering four football World Cups, four Summer Olympics, a G7 Summit and a string of party conferences for the FT, along with general elections in three different countries.

He also reported on the landmark 2001, 2005, 2013 International Olympic Committee Sessions, the 1999 Rugby World Cup, the 2002 Ryder Cup, Euro 2004 and the spectacular 2005 Ashes Series that gripped Britain like no other sports event in a generation. Big-name interviews have included Cathy Freeman, Philippe Sella, Shane Warne, Nick Faldo and the Spanish footballer Raúl. He has written about 30 or more sports in all.

Much of his sports writing has a business slant and he enjoys exceptional contacts with leading international sports administrators in the Olympic Movement and beyond. Under his sports editorship, Sepp Blatter, the FIFA President, became an occasional and much-read FT columnist.

Owen has broken numerous exclusives stories for insidethegames.biz. These include: The IOC’s TOP sponsorship programme was due to break the $1 billion barrier, the Rio lab had failed a "blind test", wrestling had raised its out of competition anti-doping testing in its 2020 campaign, the British Olympic Committee extends its overdraft facility post London 2012, the move by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to place a bulk order for human growth hormone testing kits ahead of 2008’s Beijing Olympics and word that FIFA was considering staging the bidding contests for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups at the same time.

He is also the author of a book of cricket stories called "Rain Starts Play" and his latest book on horse racing, "Foinavon: The Story of the Grand National's Biggest Upset" (Wisden Sports Writing) has just been published.

Mike Rowbottom

Mike Rowbottom

Chief Feature Writer

Mike Rowbottom, one of Britain's most talented sportswriters, covered the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics as chief feature writer for insidethegames.biz, having covered the previous five Summer Games, and four Winter Games, for The Independent.

An assessment of his time at The Independent by the Sports Journalists' Association observed: "His well-balanced and gentle work is widely admired by colleagues and athletes alike. Indeed, for a long spell, Rowbottom had the dubious honour of being perhaps the only member of the British athletics press corps to whom Linford Christie would speak.

"His work at the paper included a highly regarded weekly column that took a humorous look at sport. His co-authored biography with Olympic silver medallist, Roger Black, How Long's the Course? was very well reviewed."

In 2010 Rowbottom’s book Usain Bolt – Fast as Lightning was published by BlackAmber Inspirations.

In 2013 his latest book, Foul Play – The Dark Arts of Cheating in Sport received widespread media coverage including Radio 4’s Today Programme and talkSPORT, which featured it as book of the week. It was also named book of the week in publications ranging from Rugby World to The Independent on Sunday, the latter describing it as "A timely book ... This is an illuminating, entertaining excursion into sport's moral maze. Fair play to the author."

Rowbottom has also worked for the Daily Mail, The Times, The Observer and The Guardian.

The subjects of his Olympic articles over the last 26 years have included Torvill and Dean, Linford Christie, Tonya Harding, Sally Gunnell, Steve Redgrave, Wayne Gretsky, Katerina Witt, Carl Lewis, Paula Radcliffe, Michelle Kwan, Kelly Holmes, Rhona Martin, Usain Bolt, Christine Ohuruogu, Amir Khan and Sir Chris Hoy.

Rowbottom also writes regularly for the International Association of Athletics Federations website, covering the Diamond League as well as championship events, as well as for European Athletics. He has also been a regular contributor in the past six years to Rowing & Regatta, British Rowing’s magazine, for whom he completed a 12-part series on past Olympians.

Having run his first London Marathon in 2011, our feature writer is just getting round to running his second somewhere.

Liam Morgan

Liam Morgan

Chief Senior Reporter

Since joining insidethegames.biz, Morgan has covered a variety of international multi-sport events and conferences.

These include the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang and the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast. 

Morgan has also covered the 2015 European Games in Baku, 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby and the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa in 2015 and Bahamas in 2017. He also reported from the FIFA Extraordinary Elective Congress in Zurich and the IOC Session in Lima. 

He has also attended World Championships in a number of sports, including athletics, beach volleyball, judo and wrestling. 

Before taking up a role with insidethegames.biz, he covered Test cricket for international news agency Reuters.

Morgan graduated from Southampton Solent University in 2014 with a BA First Class honours degree in Sports Journalism.

Michael Pavitt

Michael Pavitt

Senior Reporter

Since joining insidethegames.biz, Pavitt has covered a variety of international multi-sport events, including the 2015 European Games in Baku, the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto and the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast. 

He has also reported from both Canoe Slalom World Championships in London and World Judo Championships in Astana in 2015. He also covered the 2016 Track Cycling World Championships in London and the 2017 World Road Cycling Championships in Bergen. 

Pavitt previously worked at BBC Essex, producing a series of interviews with Paralympic athletes to mark two years until Rio 2016.

Philip Barker

Philip Barker

Writer, broadcaster and regular contributor to insidethegames.biz since 2009.

London born and educated at the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe and University of Lancaster. He was part of the team which launched TransWorld Sport and subsequently worked for Eurosport, Skysports, Sky Sports News, London Tonight and the ITV breakfast programme.

A specialist in Olympic history, he has commentated for television on the lighting of the Olympic flame and also on the voting sessions which accorded the Games to London and Rio. Has commentated on football, athletics and reported on a range of other sports for tv and radio.

Author of The Story of the Olympic Torch, Lord’s firsts, Wycombe Wanderers in Camera and Five Rings above Britain, he has also contributed to Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack. He is associate editor of the Journal of Olympic History.

Nancy Gillen

Nancy Gillen


Gillen graduated from the University of Leeds with a first class honours degree in International History and Politics. 

She then completed a placement year at the University as communications assistant. 

During her time in Leeds, Gillen was Media Secretary for the University’s Women’s Football Club and played right midfield for the team.

Her first trip with insidethegames.biz was to Turin for the Men's Volleyball World Championships. Since then, Gillen has been to more countries than she thought possible when attending her interview and covered more sports than she knew existed.

Michael Houston

Michael Houston

Junior Reporter

Prior to joining insidethegames.biz, Houston has experience of working at several major events, including the cycling events at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the city where he studied. 

He then worked with the World Curling Federation in 2015, first as a trainee before becoming one of their main feature writers over the next five years. 

He also has experience reporting athletics as the flash quotes manager for British Athletics at the London Anniversary Games in 2019 and as a reporter at the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Glasgow earlier in the year. 

He also has experience working at the Formula One 2016 Italian Grand Prix. Houston graduated from Glasgow Caledonian University with a BA honours degree in Multimedia Journalism in 2017.

Sarah Bowron

Sarah Bowron

Managing Director

Sarah has worked in many different areas, but her main background is musical theatre.

Since launching insidethegames.biz, Bowron has ensured the company’s performance has made them the leading publication within the Olympic Movement and this was rewarded in 2017 when insidethegames.biz was voted Best in Sports Media at the Sports Business Awards in the United Kingdom. 

She has overseen the commercial growth of insidethegames.biz in recent years and helps drive the financial success of the company. Bowron also deals with contractual issues and human resources. Basically, if it is not editorial-related than she deals with it. 

Bowron's first Olympic Games was Vancouver 2010, followed by the first ever Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010, followed by the first Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck in 2012 and, of course, London 2012.

Sarah has attended five IOC Sessions.

Rebecca Lovegrove

Rebecca Lovegrove

Office Manager

Rebecca has a career background in administration and works on a part-time basis for insidethegames.biz.

Having left university with a degree in English it came as a surprise to everyone, not least Rebecca herself, that she proceeded to have an 18-year career in the financial world of pensions. 

Following redundancy, she was looking for a part-time administrative role local to home when, fortuitously, insidethegames.biz were looking for an office manager. 

Now she happily spends her days dealing with the day to day office administration, allowing the editorial team to focus on their high-quality journalism!

Alex Crawford

Alex Crawford

Website Developer

Alex Crawford, who graduated from the University of Liverpool with a BSc honours degree in Chemistry, is a website developer for insidethegames.biz.

Alex is responsible for the development and supervision of the design, layout and coding of the insidethegames.biz website and mobile site.

Alex has impeccable skills in software programming and graphics and has a vast knowledge of advances in computer technology.

When Alex is not working, he volunteers for the RNLI as a helmsman. Alex is also a keen runner and ran Plymouth Half Marathon in 2011, London Marathon and National Lottery Olympic Park run in 2012, and the National Lottery Anniversary run in 2013.