GB Olympic bobsledder Joel Fearon to join Switzerland on temporary basis

GB four-man bobsled crew watching other crews finish at the Sochi 2014 Winter Games
Fearon (second left) was part of the Team GB sled retrospectively awarded bronze at Sochi 2014

Olympic bobsledder Joel Fearon will compete for Switzerland in the 2019-20 World Cup season after the Great Britain team agreed to release him on a 'loan deal'.

Fearon was part of Team GB's four-man Sochi 2014 crew who were retrospectively awarded bronze after the disqualification of two Russian sleds for doping offences.

At World Cup and World Championship events, unlike at the Olympics, sledders can compete for a country whose nationality they do not hold.

The 30-year-old - a former 100m runner, who is joint fourth on the British all-time list - will compete in the forthcoming World Cup and World Championship events for Switzerland before returning to the GB set-up next season.

GB Bobsleigh received more than £5m in the build-up to Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in 2018 but UK Sport removed all funding after they failed to challenge for a medal at those Games.

Fearon has since become a father for the third time and, as he received no personal funding from UK Sport, the former athlete sees the temporary paid move to Switzerland as the only way to continue in the sport.

"Joel came to us with a request to slide for one of the Swiss pilots this season after he was made an offer that we, as a now unfunded sport, were unable able to match," said new British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association chair Joanna Poulton.

The GB team has been boosted by the return of Olympian Greg Cackett, who has spent the past 18 months with British Cycling.

Former international bobsledder Sam Blanchet, who was a reserve for Pyeongchang 2018, will also compete in the coming season after a stint back in his previous sport of rugby union.

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