Australia’s top-ranked mountain biker Chris Jongewaard has successfully appealed against his controversial omission from Cycling Australia’s list of nominated riders to compete at the Beijing Olympics.
The Cycling Australia Appeals Tribunal on Friday upheld Jongewaard’s appeal and the nomination decision has been referred back to Cycling Australia for review. It was CA’s High Performance committee which originally decided not to approve the decision by CA’s selectors to pick Jongewaard.
Jongewaard set out in a closed hearing on Thursday why he should have Australia’s berth in the men’s cross-country mountain bike race at the Games. The CA High Performance Management committee initially decided the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) would not approve Jongewaard’s selection and the spot went to Daniel McConnell.
If the CA committee now approves Jongewaard’s nomination, the next step will be for the AOC selection committee to rule on the matter.
The AOC committee would decide whether Jongewaard has gone against the ethical behaviour by-law of the Olympic team agreement.
Jongewaard is facing several driving-related offences following an incident in February last year near Adelaide that left fellow cyclist Matthew Rex suffering severe head injuries.
Rex was placed in an induced coma for more than a week, but recovered, and Jongewaard is due to answer the court charges in December.
© AFP 2008