Roulston convicted of assaultClose
New Discovery Channel signing Hayden Roulston has been convicted on two charges of assault by a courPICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE Kiwi rider Hayden Roulston is still hoping to take up a place with the Discovery Channel team despite being convicted of assault by a court in Christchurch, New Zealand. The 23-year-old, who has spent the last two seasons with Cofidis, was found guilty on two charges of assault by Christchurch district court judge John Bisphan on Tuesday. The case arose from an incident that took place in a Christchurch bar in June, when Roulston was celebrating his selection for the Olympics. But even after being convicted, the Kiwi has maintained that he is innocent of all charges. After the verdict, Roulston pointed out that eye-witnesses of the incident had been unable to pick him out in court, but said he would not be appealing the verdict. "There's nothing we can do now, we've fought it and fought it since June. It's just carried on so long, it is affecting me mentally and I can't have the added stress any more," said Roulston. Of more concern to the young rider now is the effect his conviction might have on his new contract with the Discovery Channel. His lawyer, James Rapley, told the court that the criminal record would jeopardise the deal. "He'll be rejected (by US immigration) and he won't be able to get in and the job will be gone," said Rapley. However, initial indications are that Roulston will still be able to get a US visa and join his new team at their California training camp on January 9. The court was told that "normally, a person would not have a problem getting a visa, especially when they are sponsored by an organisation or company." Once the training camp is over, it is unlikely that the European-based Kiwi would need a US visa again this season. The Roulston verdict comes at a bad time for New Zealand cycling. Cycling New Zealand president Wayne Hudson has confirmed that 22-year-old Jeremy Yates has been suspended for two years from December 1. The former world junior champion tested positive for testosterone after a race in Wanzele, Belgium, last March.