Yorkshire cyclist Melissa Lowther is still awaiting a satisfactory explanation and a full apology for the administrative error which robbed her of her Commonwealth Games dream.
The 22-year-old from Wakefield had built her entire season around the women’s time-trial on the Gold Coast but was informed the day before the race that she was not allowed to compete because a Team England official failed to tick a box on her entry form.
Lowther, a good bet for a medal, was left devastated that matters out of her control had prevented her from competing in the biggest race of the year.
All she got at the time was an apology from Team England via telephone, and now nearly three months on, she is still waiting for the authorities to explain how such an error could occur.
“I am quite disappointed that nothing further has been done about it,” said Lowther, who is in Northumberland this week for the British Road Championships.
“I’ve been contacted by lawyers from Team England just to get my point of view as to what happened but they’re not going to do anything about it. They just wanted to make sure it doesn’t happen in the future.
I just feel like they could have given me a better apology. It’s like they’re saying if it makes you feel any better it won’t happen to anyone else, but that doesn’t really help me. Maybe I’m being selfish but that’s how I feel about it.Melissa Lowther
“I had a phone call on the day it happened just to say sorry and explain how it happened, but apart from that I’ve had nothing.
“I just feel like they could have given me a better apology. It’s like they’re saying if it makes you feel any better it won’t happen to anyone else, but that doesn’t really help me. Maybe I’m being selfish but that’s how I feel about it.”
Lowther intends to send an email seeking a resolution to Team England after this week’s British Championships, choosing to focus on today’s time-trial and Sunday’s road race before tackling the controversy that has clouded her season.
Team England confirmed to The Yorkshire Post that an internal review is still ongoing, with the results of that to be published soon. A spokesman also moved to reassure Lowther that the matter had not ‘been lost down a black hole’.
In the meantime, Lowther is hoping for some overdue fortune in today’s women’s time-trial in Northumberland. Last year she missed out on the British Under-23s title by 14 seconds after she was forced to stop halfway round the course to replace her chain. Then she was foiled in Australia by red tape.
“Hopefully it’s third time lucky,” said Lowther, who showed her mental strength 12 months ago by responding from her time- trial mechanical failure to win the British Under-23s road race title three days later.