Judge will hear argument on Friday

Updated: August 4, 2004, 10:00 PM ET
Associated Press

A federal judge will consider Friday whether mountain bike racer Susan Haywood should be restored to the U.S. Olympic team.

USA Cycling originally said Haywood would compete in the mountain bike race in Athens because she led U.S. athletes in the International Cycling Union rankings.

But rider Mary McConneloug protested that Haywood's ranking was calculated improperly, and an arbitrator agreed with McConneloug -- who then was named to the lone spot on the team.

Haywood is protesting the decision, arguing that she learned of the arbitration hearing the day it occurred and therefore was unable to thoroughly present her case.

Sean Petty, USA Cycling's chief of staff, said the dispute was unfortunate.

"We respect both athletes' rights to challenge the process and exercise all their options, because it's obviously a very important decision," Petty said.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press