New Zealand national road race champion Jason Christie has lost his appeal to be included in the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games team.
The Sports Tribunal this morning dismissed Christie's appeal against the decision not to be selected by Cycling New Zealand, which chose five other riders ahead of him, including substitute when one became unavailable.
Christie won the championship in controversial fashion in early January, when he appeared to be showing a "middle-finger salute" to riders who finished just behind him in the sprint.
He later claimed the two fingers were to celebrate his second win of the title and no malice was intended, although he issued a statement, saying, "I want to publicly apologise for this image of myself that I'm deeply ashamed of. I know there is no excuse for this and I promise to do better next time."
This did not appear to have been a factor in the tribunal discussion and the analysis of the performance of cyclists considered for inclusion presented by CNZ's high performance director, Martin Barras.
Christie appealed on the grounds that CNZ's nomination criteria had not been properly implemented or followed, that he was not afforded a reasonable opportunity to satisfy the applicable criteria and that there was no material on which the nomination decision could reasonably be based.
Based on results and his performance, he believed he should have been selected ahead of five other riders.
In a statement, the tribunal said that CNZ's selectors undertook a careful, comprehensive and exhaustive analysis of each rider's performances and results.
"It was clear to the tribunal that the selectors were expert in the field with extensive knowledge and experience and there was detailed consideration of the relevant selection criteria and the strengths and weaknesses of all the cyclists were identified and evaluated.
"Also, of note, during the course of the proceedings an additional potential place for a cyclist emerged, allowing CNZ to reassess Mr Christie's material filed in support of his appeal, but he was still not recommended ahead of those riders already selected."
In dismissing the appeal, the tribunal concluded:
"Ultimately, while acknowledging Mr Christie is undoubtedly a talented cyclist who deserved and received serious consideration, the Tribunal cannot conclude that his omission was irrational or beyond the properly available discretion of the Discipline Panel.
"There is no material to suggest that regard was had to matters which were not relevant or that all his history and experience were not properly assessed."
The New Zealand men's road cycling team selected for 2018 Commonwealth Games is: Jack Bauer (road race), Shane Archbold (road race), Alex Frame (road race), Hamish Bond (time trial and permission to start the road race), James Oram (road race) and Sam Gaze (mountain bike with permission to start in the road race). The reserve for the team is Hayden McCormick.
Aaron Gate was named in the original team but could not take up his place because of professional commitments and was replaced by James Oram.
All except Jack Bauer were named as co-respondents in the appeal; Christie did not dispute Bauer's place in the team.
Christie is not a member of a professional cycling team, unlike the dedicated road riders selected for the Gold Coast.