Edinburgh fencer Keith Cook is taking legal action over his omission from Great Britain’s Olympic fencing squad, it emerged today.
The Pilton-born athlete had an appeal against the decision turned down last June and says he owes it to future generations of fencers to make a stance.
At the centre of the row lies a claim by a leading British fencing official that the governing body never knew the Scot wanted to be considered because he had not forwarded contact details.
Cook, who has now hired a leading libel lawyer, replied to the claim at the time, saying: “I have been representing Great Britain for years, of course they had my contact details.”
In a further allegation Cook claims the minutes of the Olympic selection meetings will show that he was never considered. Cook adds: “To add insult to injury, they’ve even claimed they didn’t know I wanted to be considered for the Olympics after six years of dedication and training – just bizarre. The Olympic motto is ‘Inspire a generation’. This is not how I wanted to do it, but I am showing the courage to stand up for what’s right – for the truth.”
In asserting there have been “multiple breaches” of selection policy Cook, who declined to relocate to London in order to spend time with his family, added: “I am determined that no-one else should go through this totally dispiriting experience, I’ve been so let down by my governing body. In my opinion, they have not treated me well.”
British champion in 2010, Cook, now 31, had his request for an appeal hearing turned down in June the grounds the deadline was “long past”.