PETERBOROUGH City Rowing Club star James Fox has launched a scathing attack on the sport’s governing body after a second World Junior Championship snub.
The 18 year-old Jack Hunt pupil is a double European champion and had looked odds-on for a place in the Great Britain team at the Worlds after a string of excellent performances over the past 12 months including a gold medal at the Munich Regatta in March.
But despite a top class pedigree, Fox will not be competing in the Czech Republic next month after being denied the chance to impress selectors at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham last week.
And having been overlooked for the event last year too, Fox was far from happy after being told he had missed the boat for the second year running.
He said: “I am very, very disappointed about the trials as I feel there was a lot of politics going on there and I did not get a fair crack of the whip.
“I only got the chance to row in one trial race in the quads while most of the other guys trying out had several chances to prove themselves.
“When I did get my opportunity I managed to draw with one of the guys selected to go which is very frustrating.
“There are a lot of politics going on and I think I am being ignored because I am a member of a small club and it feels like that is what cost me.”
Fox is also a victim of British Rowing’s decision to send only five male athletes rather than seven as had previously been expected but the snub still clearly stings.
And while a place in the European team is some consolation, Fox is well aware that chances to impress at the highest level before London 2012 are fast running out.
“I have been offered a place at the European Championships in Belgium and obviously I will be giving it my best shot.
“I feel now that I have a real point to prove to the selectors but it could be a struggle in the double sculls as my proposed partner is not someone I would normally row with.
“My aim is to row for GB at London 2012 so I must take any chance I get at this level but even another gold at the Europeans will not really make up for missing out on the Worlds.”
At least PCRC will have one representative in the Czech Republic this summer after Philippa Neill was named in the Women’s Eight to compete at Racice.