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Jongewaard rejected after winning Olympics appeal

By:
Cycling News
Published:
July 20, 2008, 0:00 BST,
Updated:
April 20, 2009, 21:41 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, July 20, 2008

Mountain biker Chris Jongewaard was not named to the Australian Beijing Olympics squad despite...

Mountain biker Chris Jongewaard was not named to the Australian Beijing Olympics squad despite having won an appeal to be nominated to the squad. Jongewaard, his country's top mountain bike racer, failed to gain a nomination from Cycling Australia (CA) because of his involvement in a hit-and-run automobile accident in February, 2007. He appealed the decision and won, but the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC), which has the final say in who goes to the Games, did not approve his selection.

According to The Australian, AOC president John Coates explained the decision in a letter to Jongewaard, citing the incident where Jongewaard struck his friend Matthew Rex with his car and then drove off. Rex suffered head injuries and was placed in a medically-induced coma for 12 days. He has since recovered.

Coates wrote, "...driving while likely in my view to be under the influence of alcohol and being involved in an accident while in that state are sufficient for me to form the view, within the discretion I have under the selection by-law, that your conduct was likely to and did bring yourself into disrepute."

Jongewaard has one final avenue to appeal the decision with the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but has not comment on whether he would pursue it.

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