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Graham explains Olympic appeal withdrawal

Lorian Graham has explained the reason behind the withdrawal of her Olympic Games non-selection appeal. The limited time available for Graham to pursue her appeal led to her withdrawing the appeal on Monday, according to the rider.

"After receiving the statement of reasons from CA, I obtained legal advice which confirmed that the exemptions from mandatory selection criteria which were granted to Ms Bates were not in compliance with the rules for nomination," Graham said.

Graham had specifically targeted Bates' allocated spot in the hope of being awarded the position alongside current national champion Oenone Wood and Athens gold medallist Sara Carrigan in the women's road team. However the rider learnt that even if her appeal was successful, the position would be awarded to another rider.

"The reason I withdrew my appeal, however, was because when I saw the statement of reasons for selection, it was disclosed for the first time that if I succeeded in challenging Ms Bates' selection, the subjective preference of the selection committee for a preferred reserve for the team was another rider rather than myself," she said. "Given the very limited time that was made available to me for pursuing my appeal, I was unable to challenge that subjective preference - therefore, there was no utility in my pursuing the appeal."

Graham was clearly upset with Cycling Australia's claim that no reason had been offered for her appeal withdrawal. "I made these reasons very clear in my six-page notice of withdrawal," she said.

Graham was one of the riders injured in the 2005 training accident which claimed the life of Australian Institute of Sport team-mate Amy Gillett. She was one of two cyclists to lodge appeals against Cycling Australia's nominations, with mountain biker Chris Jongewaard having his appeal upheld by a Cycling Australia Tribunal today (see separate story).

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