Chris Hoy has been forced to withdraw from the Scottish team for the Commonwealth Games in order to participate in a new European Championship in early November. The new competition will carry qualification points for the 2012 Olympic Games and Hoy felt that his preparation for it would have to take precedence over competing in the October’s Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
Speaking to the Guardian, the quadruple Olympic champion said, “It's with great sadness and reluctance that I've had to tell the Scottish team that I won't be seeking selection for the Delhi games. But it wasn't a decision I had to make in the end: it's one that's been forced on me by the nature of the qualification process for the London Olympics.”
The Commonwealth Games will take place from 2-14 October, while the new European Championships – which have not yet been officially confirmed – are touted take place in Saint Petersburg from 5-7 November. Hoy feels that the timing of the events makes it impossible to be at his best for both and that “the Olympics have to take precedence over everything.”
“I could turn up at the Commonwealth Games in October but it'd hamper my preparation for the European championships. And I wouldn't be at 100 per cent. The standard at the Commonwealth Games is so high that 95% wouldn't be good enough, and it would be disrespectful to the event and the Scottish team," Hoy said.
Hoy could not hide his disappointment at missing out on riding for Scotland in Delhi, and was scathing in his criticism of the last minute arrangement of such a vital Olympic qualifying event.
"The lack of transparency and consultation around the decision-making process is a constant frustration," said Hoy. "But I've learned now that I can't do anything about it, so you just have to accept it. I just hope now that the 2014 Commonwealth Games [in Glasgow] will give me the opportunity to do another games for Scotland."