CyclingSA have confirmed that after being faced with an appeal with respect to the exclusion of Cherise Taylor, one of the women road cycling athletes in the South African team to the London Olympics, the appeal board has made a final decision supporting both the original selection process used by CyclingSA and the decision made regarding the women’s road cycling team.
The appeal board was requested to review the decision and to determine if the selectors had indeed followed due process and procedures in completing the final selection.
For London 2012, 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. This in itself is a remarkable achievement, and all credit goes to each and every athlete who contributed.
Unlike other team sports (hockey and soccer), in cycling a nation’s overall ranking determines how many riders a country can send to the event. In soccer and hockey, as long as a country qualifies, they get to send a full team, with reserves. 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.
The appeal board has found that the selectors did indeed follow due process in terms of both the final selection criteria and the CyclingSA selection policy, and had determined that the team selected was therefore within their mandate.
CyclingSA would like to reiterate, that this process is welcomed as it creates an opportunity for our athletes to feel comfortable in the process.
Strict guidelines exist when considering and selecting athletes to represent their country in any cycling discipline and Cycling SA are confident that the decision made by its selectors and endorsed by its board presents the best opportunity to bring home a medal.