Perkins cleared to ride in European Track Championships for Russia

Australian-born sprinter set to race team sprint and keirin in Berlin

Having announced his intention to switch allegiance from Australia to Russia to race the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in February, Shane Perkins' decision has received clearance from the UCI. Perkins was granted Russian citizenship by President Vladimir Putin in August and his coach Vladimir Khozov has told Russian news agency TASS the sport's governing body has now also approved the move.

Perkins, 30, is a multiple Australian champion on the track with two Track world titles, along with multiple Commonwealth Games medals and bronze in the sprint at the 2012 Olympic Games. Perkins fell out of favour with Cycling Australia in the lead-up to the Rio Olympic Games last month and failed to make the team for the 2016 games.

To pursue his Toyko dream, Perkins started the process of acquiring a Russian license to do so with the assistance of former track rival and friend Denis Dmitriev. He will now make his debut for the Russian national team at next month's European Track Championships in Berlin, Germany.

In August, Perkins rode the Russian national track championships where he won gold in the keirin and team sprint, and bronze in the sprint at the Lokosfinks Veldorome in Saint Petersburg.

"Perkins expects to fight for a gold medal in a team sprint and in keirin," Khozov told TASS.

Russian Pavel Yakushevskiy is the reigning European sprint champion while Poland won the team sprint title last year. Czech rider Tomáš Bábek won the keirin title ahead of Andriy Vynokurov (Ukraine) and Charly Conord (France) last year. 

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