JESS Varnish has repeated claims she is still hopeful of a return to Great Britain’s cycling team in time for the 2016 Olympic Games.
In a statement released by the 25-year-old today (Tuesday), Varnish plans to meet Team GB’s new performance director Andy Harrison when she returns from her training regime in Australia.
Varnish, who is a member of Halesowen Cycling Club, was told in March she would not be considered for selection for August’s Olympics after failing to advance from the two-woman, two-lap team sprint at the the Track World Championships in London.
Her Rio dream came to an and after clocking a time of 18.857secs – slower than her time set four years ago – in the ‘man-one’ position in her race.
Following her omission from the Team GB squad, Varnish said she was the victim of sexism from technical director Shane Sutton, who resigned towards the end of April.
Sutton rejected those claims and a review by British Cycling had been launched.
Varnish, who has won a number of sprint medals at the World, European and Commonwealth games, said: “My immediate priority is to win back my place on the British Cycling team, ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games, and to prove that I was, and still am, good enough to win medals for Great Britain.
“I have reached out to the Andy Harrison and will meet with him on my return to the UK.
“I am a World Class Athlete, and have the ability to win more medals for Great Britain.”
In her statement she also said during the two-year Olympic qualifying process she had ‘gained more qualifying points than any other British female sprint rider’ and ‘was consistently performing in the top five in the World for Lap 1 times in the Team Sprint’.
She added: “I hope that on hearing my case, and with the knowledge that I have been doing the best I can under the circumstances to maintain my fitness on the track, Andy Harrison and British Cycling will give me the chance to get back on the British cycling program ahead of selection for Rio.
“It is been a dream for me ever since London 2012 to compete and be successful in Rio.”