A British track cyclist once suspended for a drugs offence has been selected to represent New Zealand.

Englishman Neil Campbell is to ride the sprint and 1km time trial for his adopted country at the Oceania track cycling championships starting in Australia on April 30.

Campbell, 29, fought a long battle to clear his name after he was sent home from the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney for using a banned human growth hormone.

He was fined and banned for one year by British officials, which was later overturned by the International Cycling Federation (UCI) on appeal.

Cycling New Zealand official Geoff Campbell today said the UCI accepted the rider's assertion that the positive test was a result of a mistake in the testing procedures.

Neil Campbell settled in Auckland in 2001 and rode for that province at the national championships in 2002 and 2003, this year winning the 1km time trial title and finishing second in the sprint.

He had previously used Auckland as a training base during Northern Hemisphere winters.

National selector Gordon Sharrock told NZPA that Campbell was a welcome addition to this country's thin sprinting ranks.

"He's up with the best of our riders in the sprinting side of it. If he performs well, he will get selected."

Sharrock said the drugs incident should not be held against the rider.

Campbell has taken out a riding licence with CNZ, qualifying him for selection for events such as the Oceania championships and World Cup.

He is presently applying for New Zealand citizenship, which would qualify him for selection for events such as the Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games.

- NZPA