Alpine Skiing - Australian pair lose gender selection appeal

Two Australian male skiers who protested against their non-selection for the Sochi Games on gender grounds have had their appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) dismissed, the country's Olympic Committee said.

Alpine Skiing - Australian pair lose gender selection appeal

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Mike Rishworth of Australia competes during the Alpine Slalom (FIS Australia New Zealand Cup) during day seven of the Winter Games NZ at Coronet Peak on August 21, 2013 in Queenstown, New Zealand (Getty)

Mike Rishworth and Luke Laidlaw had challenged the inclusion of female skiers Emily Bamford and Lavinia Chrystal in the 60-strong squad heading to Russia for the Olympics which start next week.

"The CAS arbitrator Mr Malcolm Holmes has dismissed the appeal submitted by Mr Mike Rishworth and Mr Luke Laidlaw in respect of their non-nomination by SSA (Ski and Snowboard Australia) to the AOC (Australian Olympic Committee) for selection to the team," a statement read on Tuesday.

"Emily Bamford and Lavinia Chrystal have been selected to the 2014 Australian Olympic Winter Team, taking the total number of athletes in the Team to 60 - the largest ever Australian Olympic Winter Team."

Slalom skiers Laidlaw and Rishworth believed that SSA had failed to use the correct nomination criteria when selecting Chrystal and Bamford, saying they were more worthy candidates because of higher rankings.

The SSA said that gender was used in the allocation of quotas in accordance with the International Ski Federation (FIS) guidelines.

Bamford, the daughter of horse racing tycoon Kevin Bamford, does not compete on the elite World Cup circuit, instead racing in the lower level FIS races. She is a triple Australia/New Zealand Contintental Cup slalom champion.

Chrystal, 24, also competes on the FIS circuit and represented Australia at the 2011 world championships.

"Sochi here we come!! Dream come true," Chrystal said on Twitter.

Rishworth and Laidlaw have both competed at World Cup level and at last year's world championships in Austria.

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