British Cycling has begun an “additional appeals process” at the eleventh hour to address concerns that Team GB was not selected properly.
Cyclists including Dani King, Jess Varnish and Steve Cummings were all absent from Friday’s team announcements - and now the British Olympic Association says it has ‘raised concerns’ about the appeals process.
The additional process now instigated is so hastily erected that the Daily Telegraph was the first to break the news to King and Varnish’s agents last night.
London 2012 gold medallist King has already described her omission as "unfair", while British time trial champion Hayley Simmonds called the governing body "disrespectful" in an angry Facebook post.
Lawyers at the BOA are said to be worried about possible legal challenges from riders who missed the 26-strong team - but it’s not certain which members will take advantage of the new independent appeals panel.
King has indicated that she will wait until after today’s national road race championships to make her decision, while Varnish is thought unlikely to appeal, having been dropped in March amid a sexism and bullying scandal that led to technical director Shane Sutton stepping down.
“The mechanics of it will be announced over the next few days,” British Cycling interim performance director Andy Harrison said when asked how it would work. “There have been ongoing conversations over the last 24 hours with the BOA. They raised their concerns over the appealing process. In collaboration, we've identified a pragmatic response to that.
"The intention is that it will follow exactly the appeal process as listed in the selection criteria. But it's very much isolated and removed from the selection panel. What we've got is a completely independent panel to the selection. I'm happy, as is the BOA and UK Sport, that it's a mirror of the appeals process.”
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Rebecca James, Katy Marchant, Laura Trott, Katie Archibald, Joanna Rowsell Elinor Barker, Ciara Horne.
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Lizzie Armitstead, Emma Pooley, Nikki Harris. Men's BMX Liam Phillips, Kyle Evans.
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