Chris Jongewaard has admitted to being "very disappointed" to learn that he won't be going to Beijing, China for this August's Olympic Games after being left off the Australian Olympic roster.
"The Olympics is the biggest sporting event in my eyes," Jongewaard told The Australia. "I have been working my arse off...since 2004."
Jongewaard, one of Australia's top mountain bikers, has been left off the country's team for the Beijing event over behavioural issues, Cycling Australia announced Friday. Despite being the country's highest ranked men's rider, Jongewaard was not considered for the Olympic Games because he is facing charges over a hit-and-run incident last year.
In February of 2007, Jongewaard had been celebrating the birthday of his friend and training partner Matthew Rex when he hit Rex with his car. Rex sustained head injuries and was temporarily placed in a coma, but has since recovered.
"The committee believes it cannot in good faith nominate Chris Jongewaard," the Cycling Australia statement read. "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."
Jongewaard's case received additional media attention in Australia following the case of Nick D'Arcy, who was thrown off the Australian Olympic swimming squad within days of making the team. D'Arcy was charged with assault after allegedly striking former swimmer Simon Cowley at a Sydney bar on the evening he qualified for the swimming team.
A Court of Arbitration for Sport appeal by the swimmer found that while he had brought the sport into disrepute, Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates didn't have the authority alone to remove D'Arcy. The AOC board then took a vote which saw the swimmer striped of his position, a decision upheld by a second CAS hearing.
The mountain bike spots were awarded to Daniel McConnell and Dellys Starr. Jongewaard had until July 1 to file an appeal with final selections to be determined on July 4.