Chris Froome?s hopes of riding for Great Britain in this summer?s Olympic Games have taken a knock.
The 23-year-old Barloworld rider had been racing with a Kenyan licence until he applied for a British licence earlier in the spring.
As far as the UCI is concerned, Froome is now British, but the Kenyan Olympic Association is refusing to waive the rule that says an athlete cannot compete in the Olympic Games for his new country within three years of switching nationality.
Britain have four places for the men?s road race in Beijing in August and one place in the time trial.
It had been hoped Froome, a promising climber, would fill one of the slots in the team on a brutally hard course that contains as much climbing as the toughest of Tour de France mountain stages.
Froome is on the short-list to ride this year?s Tour for Barloworld.
With time running out before August's Olympics, British Cycling has made a last-ditch appeal to the Kenyans to change their minds.
Kenya has nothing to gain by denying Froome a chance to ride for Britain. The rider has already changed his nationality and Kenya has not qualified a place for the road race.
British Cycling will take the appeal all the way to the wire and, for now, Froome remains on the shortlist for a place in the team and will remain part of the plans until all avenues have been exhausted.
Froome has just returned to Europe to resume racing after attending his mother?s funeral in Kenya. His best result so far this season was fifth in the individual time trial at the Vuelta Asturias in Spain, a race he had to quit when he heard his mother had died.
The Big Interview: Chris Froome
Ben Swift?s win puts him in the Olympic picture
Who?s in the frame for men?s road events in Beijing?
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Sports journalist Lionel Birnie has written professionally for Sunday Times, Procycling and of course Cycling Weekly. He is also an author, publisher, and co-founder of The Cycling Podcast. His first experience covering the Tour de France came in 1999, and he has presented The Cycling Podcast with Richard Moore and Daniel Friebe since 2013. He founded Peloton Publishing in 2010 and has ghostwritten and published the autobiography of Sean Kelly, as well as a number of other sports icons.
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