Australian mountain biker Chris Jongewaard looks set to ride the Beijing Olympics after Cycling Australia accepted the findings of an Appeals Tribunal and nominated him for its Olympic team. Jongewaard, Australia's highest ranked mountain biker, was not originally nominated for the Olympic Games due to involvement in a pending court case, but successfully appealed the decision last week.
The ruling was passed to the Cycling Australia High Performance Management Committee (HPMC), which met Monday via tele-conference and decided to nominate Jongewaard to the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) in place of previously selected Daniel McConnell.
In making its decision, the HPMC acknowledged an item from the Appeals Tribunal which stated: "HPMC did not have enough material to rely upon to exercise its decision as to whether it honestly believed Jongewaard had met all the requirements of the Selection Criteria and thereby, had failed to properly implement the criteria."
A further legal issue stated that Cycling Australia could only reach a decision on the conduct of an athlete after the AOC President has exercised his discretion. In response to this Cycling Australia noted that "a successful defence in any subsequent hearing could not be assured".
Jongewaard is due to answer charges later this year regarding a hit-and-run incident, in which he allegedly 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.