Cyclist's appeal denied
Cycling ace Cherise Stander’s appeal to be included in the South African cycling team for the London Olympic Games has been denied.
This was confirmed by Cycling SA Africa (CSA) on Thursday.
“The appeal board has found that the selectors did indeed follow due process in terms of both the final selection criteria and the CSA selection policy, and has determined that the team selected was therefore within their mandate,” CSA said.
Stander’s attorney Peter Assenmacher claimed last week that CSA had deviated from communicated selection criteria after the multiple SA champion and Beijing Olympian was excluded from the three-rider women’s road cycling team selected by CSA.
He said his client had considered approaching the high court “on an urgent basis”.
The riders selected were Ashleigh Moolman Pasio, ranked 23rd in the world, Joanna van de Winkel (138th) and Robyn de Groot (323rd).
Stander, who is ranked 98th in the world, had maintained that she complied with the criteria, via merit exceeding that of two of the selected riders.
“Cycling SA has attained the international ranking of 13th, and as a result qualified three women cyclists, a significant improvement since Beijing 2008 where we qualified only one rider,” CSA said on Thursday.
“This in itself is a remarkable achievement, and all credit goes to each and every athlete who contributed.” Unlike other team sports, CSA said a nation’s overall ranking determined how many riders a country could send to the Games.
“In soccer and hockey, as long as a country qualifies, they get to send a full team, with reserves,” the cycling body said.
“In cycling, and specifically road cycling, which is widely regarded as a team sport, the UCI qualification system restricts countries from sending complete teams, even though that country may achieve qualification.
“The only countries able to field a full team have to be ranked in the top five in the world.”