Armitstead cleared for Rio


Cycling star Lizzie Armitstead has been cleared to compete at the Rio Olympic Games after winning a late appeal against an anti-doping violation that would have seen her facing a lengthy ban.

Armitstead - who was team Great Britain's first medallist at the 2012 Games in London when she won silver in the road race - successfully argued to the Court of Arbitration for Sport that procedures were not properly followed for the first of three tests.

The world champion missed three anti-doping tests, however, the CAS agreed with Armitstead's legal team that one of those tests were not performed correctly and that the case was administrative and she was not avoiding being tested.

"I have always been and will always be a clean athlete and have been vocal in my anti-doping stance throughout my career. I am pleased that CAS has accepted my position, having provided detailed information demonstrating the situation around my strikes," Armitstead said in a statement released.

"This issue was one of administration and was the result of UKAD [UK Anti-Doping] not following proper procedure nor fully attempting to make contact with me despite clear details being provided under 'whereabouts'. I was tested in competition the day after this test, reinforcing my position that I do not cheat and had no intention of not being tested.

"I think that there should be clearer guidelines for those administrating tests and would like to work with UKAD going forward to explore how this can be better addressed in the future so no other athlete is put in this position.

"Meanwhile, I hope that UKAD can now return to the important job of making sure all athletes are clean and that Rio is the clean Olympics that we all want."

The error was said to have occurred when a doping official failed to locate her hotel room and could not reach her by phone, though Armitstead was successfully tested in competition the next day.

"I understand how important it is to be vigilant in my role as a professional athlete and realise the potential implications this could have had," the statement continued.

"I would like to thank British Cycling and the team around me for all of their help and support. I am very much looking forward to putting this situation behind me and firmly focusing on Rio again after what has been an extremely difficult time for myself and my family."