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Lizzie Armitstead: 'I will hold my head high in Rio and do my best for Great Britain'

Lizzie Armitstead was hurt by comments from social media users after she missed doping tests. Credit: PA Wire

Lizzie Armitstead has issued a statement hitting back at comments about missed doping tests.

The cyclist had been suspended pending disciplinary action after being issued with three strikes for missing drug tests.

But her Rio Olympics hopes were reprieved after she successfully appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to declare the first test void.

In a statement posted on her Facebook, Armitstead asked for understanding from the public, stressing that the CAS had ruled "quickly and unanimously in my favour and cleared me of any wrong doing".

Armitstead laid out the reasons behind her three 'strikes' - warnings issued by the Doping Control Officer (DCO) if they are unable to contact an athlete for a drugs test within an allotted time period.

She wrote:

I don't wish to make excuses, I made one mistake which was noticed in a 'spot check' my second strike came at a time when anybody who lives for and loves their family would understand my oversight. It's as simple as ticking the wrong box on a form.

I am an athlete trying to do my best, I am a clean athlete. I love sport and the values it represents, it hurts me to consider anybody questioning my performances. Integrity is something I strive for in every part of my life. I will hold my head high in Rio and do my best for Great Britain, I am sorry for causing anyone to lose faith in sport, I am an example of what hard work and dedication can achieve. I hate dopers and what they have done to sport.

– Lizzie Armitstead

Refusing to divulge too much detail, Armitstead said that her second strike was due to personal reasons and that she was dealing with a "traumatic time" when she forgot to tick a vital box on the form.

Responding to abuse on Twitter following the announcement of the CAS's ruling, Armitstead ended her long statement by saying: "To any of the 'Twitter army' reading this, do yourself a favour and go for a bike ride. It's the most beautiful thing you can do to clear your mind."