By Mike Rowbottom

British eight_at_the_Sydney_Olympics_April_22April 23 - Rowley Douglas, cox of the victorious British eight (pictured) at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, has launched a formal appeal against the GB Rowing selection following a decision to select his rival, Phelan Hill, which was taken earlier than planned.

Hill and Douglas, along with Acer Nethercott, the Beijing silver medal cox who has now withdrawn from the process, had been told that they would fight it out in the last week of March and the first of April, before one would be chosen to trial against Hill during the team's training camp in Varese, Italy, which started just after Easter.

The decision to select Hill – who coxed the eight to world silver last year – was made after Nethercott had withdrawn and before the team left the country.

Douglas submitted the notice of his appeal within a week of that decision, as required by the British Rowing appeals procedure, which was streamlined a year ago to avoid disputes adversely impacting on the team's training and competition.

Di Ellis, chairman of national governing body British Rowing, confirmed that Douglas had lodged a formal appeal.

"I'm putting a panel into place and the hearing is likely to take place the week of 30th April," she said.

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