Chris Hoy pulls out of Commonwealth Games

Olympic champion forced to choose European Championships instead

by Martin Thomas   July 17, 2010  

Chris Hoy © Photosport International

Sir Chris Hoy has pulled out of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi because it clashes with the European Championships, which count as a qualifier for London 2012.

The four-times Olympic track champion told The Scotsman newspaper, “It's a decision that's been forced on me by the nature of the qualification process for the London Olympics.

“I could turn up at the Commonwealth Games in October, but it'd hamper my preparation for the European Championships. And I wouldn't be at 100%," said Hoy.

"The standard at the Commonwealth Games is so high that 95 per cent wouldn't be good enough, and it would be disrespectful to the event and the Scottish team."

The UCI changed its Olympic qualifying criteria in May. Delhi Games beginning on 3 October.

The European Championships – an event formerly restricted to riders under the age of 23 – takes place on 5-7 November.

Fellow Olympic champion Victoria Pendleton said last month that she was unsure about defending her Commonwealth Games title because of similar concerns over scheduling.

Hoy had been relishing the opportunity to represent Scotland and recently said: "It is the only chance that we have got to pull on a Scottish jersey and I think that is what makes the Commonwealth Games such a great event. Don't get me wrong I am proud to compete for Britain but I am very proud to compete for Scotland."

British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford warned that more elite cyclists will have to decide between the two events. "This new European Championship will affect everybody with Olympic ambitions," he said.