Jongewaard still in Australian world's team, despite conviction

Mountain biker faces misconduct case after being found guilty of hit and run

Australian mountain bike champion Chris Jongewaard was cited on Thursday for misconduct by the sport's national governing body after being convicted over a hit-and-run driving accident.

The incident left his training partner, Matthew Rex, being placed in an induced coma with a broken back, broken hip, broken leg, punctured lung and internal bleeding. He recovered but the accident ended his career as a professional cyclist.

A South Australian court on Wednesday found Jongewaard, 30, guilty of aggravated driving without due care and leaving the scene of an accident after causing harm.

The four-time national cross country champion, who pleaded not guilty, was kicked off Australia's Beijing Olympic team last year because of the charges. But he is likely to compete at next week's mountain bike world championships in Canberra because a Cycling Australia (CA) disciplinary hearing will not take place in time.

The CA board said in a statement on Thursday Jongewaard had been cited for misconduct as a result of his conviction. A CA disciplinary tribunal will hear the misconduct charge within 21 days.

"At that hearing, both Cycling Australia and Jongewaard will have an opportunity to present their cases to the tribunal," the CA statement said. "Both parties will require adequate time to prepare for the hearing.

"And as a result, it is unlikely the hearing will occur prior to next week's world championships in Canberra at which Jongewaard has been selected to ride for Australia in the elite men's cross country being contested on Saturday 5 September."

Jongewaard's sentencing submissions are due to be heard in court on September 7.

© AFP 2009

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