Haywood awarded damages for losing Olympic nomination

American mountain bike racer Susan Haywood was awarded over $300,000 in damages by a US Federal...

American mountain bike racer Susan Haywood was awarded over $300,000 in damages by a US Federal Judge on Thursday for being unfairly being removed from the USA Olympic team in 2004.

Haywood was originally nominated to the US team by USA Cycling, but an appeal launched by fellow competitor Mary McConneloug overturned the nomination.

Haywood then filed a counter-appeal, but lost when an arbitrator decided that 15 points that Haywood earned in an Idaho UCI race which never were submitted to the UCI shouldn't have factored into her points total in the Olympic selection.

A West Virginia jury awarded Haywood $318,647.14 in compensation, $18,647.14 of which were expenses incurred to fight USA Cycling's decision and the remainder in damages.

"After the Jury returned its verdict, Susan was grateful for the Judge and Jury finally acknowledging what she knew all along – that she was the rightful nominee to the 2004 Athens Olympics," a press release from her lawyers stated. "Sue pursued this case seeking to bring the issues to light in the hopes that mistakes such as this will not occur in the future."

"No verdict or court can ever give me what USA Cycling took," the release quoted Haywood. "It is my hope that this outcome will send a message to USA Cycling that it needs take its job as seriously and work as hard as those athletes who pursue the dream to represent the United States at the Olympics."

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