Rio de Janerio: British world road race champion Lizzie Armitstead has said she was "very naive" in failing to contest the first of three missed doping tests, a decision that almost cost her a place at the Rio Olympics.
The 27-year-old, who won silver in the London Olympics road race and will be among the favourites in Rio, was facing an automatic ban under the "whereabouts system" after three missed tests within a year.
Under the system, athletes are required to inform anti-doping officials of a location where they can be contacted during a particular hour of every day.
However, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled that procedures were not followed correctly for the first of the tests, clearing the way for her to compete in Rio.
"The reason I didn't (appeal against the first missed test) was because it was my first strike and it was very close to the World Championships, so I was travelling to America," she told the Daily Mail.
"I also didn't have the legal advice. It felt very much them against me. I was very naive. I went ahead to the World Championships and I didn't want the distraction.
"I've been on this 'whereabouts' system since 2006. I've travelled the world, been in hotels, training camps, races, for all that amount of time. And I've never had a problem with a testing official trying to find me in a hotel."
Armitstead had said she was cleared on the grounds that the anti-doping officer had not followed procedure for the first missed test and not tried hard enough to find her, though the Swiss-based CAS has yet to confirm their judgement.
She said the third missed test, which triggered the ban, was the result of her not updating her location after "an emergency change of plans due to a serious illness within her family" while the second was an administrative failure on her part.
In a statement posted on Wednesday, Armitstead vowed to hold her head high at the Olympics.
"I love sport and the values it represents," she wrote. "It hurts me to consider anybody questioning my performances.
"Integrity is something I strive for in every part of my life," she added. "I am sorry for causing anyone to lose faith in sport.
"I hate dopers and what they have done to sport."