London: Four-time Olympic champion cyclist Chris Hoy of Scotland today announced that he will not take part in Delhi Commonwealth Games as it is likely to clash with European Championships, a development which will take the sheen out of cycling competition in the October 3-14 event.
Hoy, who won gold in 2002 and 2006 Commonwealth Games, has informed Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS) that he is no longer
available for selection for the Delhi Games.
“Whilst he had originally planned to take part, a late clash of events with the new European Championships means that he is now required by British Cycling to compete as part of the Great Britain Sprint Team, in order to qualify for the Olympic Games in London 2012,” a statement from CGS said.
The European Championships, whose date and venue is yet to be confirmed, is a qualifying event for 2012 London Olympics.
Hoy’s pulling out would be another blow for the Delhi Games organisers after triple Olympic gold medallist sprinter Usain Bolt of Jamaica had made himself unavailable for the multi-sporting event.
Chairman of CGS, Michael Cavanagh rued Scotland would miss a gold medal prospect in New Delhi but said his country would still have a strong team.
“First and foremost we are bitterly disappointed for Chris himself. He is a fantastic supporter of Team Scotland, competing and winning medals in three Commonwealth Games and he is an inspirational ambassador for Scottish sport. Nobody will be more disappointed than him, not to be in Delhi wearing the Scottish jersey.
“He has been placed in a no win situation by the UCI (International Cycling Union) and British Cycling with their late decision and we fully appreciate that he must meet his Olympic qualification obligations,” Cavanagh said.
“Despite Chris’s omission we are confident that we will have a strong committed team in Delhi and it now creates an opportunity for other cyclists to step up to the challenge of emulating their hero,” he said.