By Greg Johnson
Australian cyclist Lorian Graham has withdrawn her appeal over non-selection for the national team heading to this year's Olympic Games in Beijing, China next month. Graham's was one of two appeals lodged after Cycling Australia announced its nominees for the August event a fortnight ago.
A Cycling Australia spokesperson confirmed to Cyclingnews that Graham withdrew her appeal on Monday, offering no reason for the retraction. Graham was one of the Australian National Team members injured in the 2005 training accident which claimed the life of team-mate Amy Gillett in Germany.
The withdrawal of Graham's appeal means Kate Bates' position on the Olympic squad is safe, with the deadline for appeals now passed.
The remaining appeal by mountain biker Chris Jongewaard will be heard by a selection appeals panel in Melbourne tomorrow. The panel will include a lawyer and an athletes' representative.
Jongewaard is Australia's highest ranked mountain biker, but has been left off the squad due to a pending court case hanging over the South Australian's head. The rider is due to answer charges later this year regarding a hit-and-run incident, in which Jongewaard stuck training partner Matthew Rex, leaving Rex with head injuries and in a medically-induced coma for 12 days.
While the incident took place in February 2007, and Rex has since recovered, court proceedings over the charges have been delayed on numerous occasions. The trial is scheduled to take place in December of this year.
"The committee believes it cannot in good faith nominate Chris Jongewaard," a Cycling Australia representative told media last week. "We acknowledge he met the performance criteria but nomination for selection in the Australian team for the Olympic Games is based on more than results."