Cycling Australia will not stand in the way of Olympic medallist Shane Perkins, who has switched his allegiance to Russia in a bid to extend his international career through to the 2020 Tokyo Games.
Perkins – who won bronze in the sprint at the 2012 London Games – missed selection in the Australian team for the Rio Olympics.
The 30-year-old has not been a member of CA’s high performance program since 2015 and is now in the process of gaining Russian citizenship.
“Like any athlete, he is eligible and entitled to pursue options that will not just extend his cycling career, but give him the best options to compete at the highest level and support his family,” CA chief executive Nick Green said in a statement.
“Shane’s professionalism in his career and dedication to the sport has always been of the highest level. An Olympic bronze and dual world champion, Shane always wore the green and gold with the utmost respect and pride and this will no doubt continue no matter what country he represents.”
Perkins – who told CA in November of his decision to swap allegiances – will continue to train and coach in Brisbane.
“The Russian Cycling Federation has given me another opportunity to chase my dreams of Olympic representation in Tokyo 2020 which has special significance to me as my father raced the Olympics in Tokyo in 1964,” Perkins told News Corp.
“I’ve spoken to Cycling Australia’s high performance program and staff and they have been supportive.”
The Australian men’s sprint team of Matthew Glaetzer, Pat Constable and Nathan Hart finished fourth at the Rio Games.
The all-conquering British team claimed gold, New Zealand was second and France edged out Australia in the bronze medal race.