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England Hockey offers apology to Suzy Petty over GB axing

England Hockey has apologised to Suzy Petty after admitting to “shortcomings” in the way it handled her axing from the GB women’s central programme.

Petty and Erica Sanders were both dropped from the women’s programme in November. Petty, who accrued over 50 international caps, spoke to legal representatives in the aftermath of the decision which, after a recent meeting with the player, led to England Hockey’s statement on Thursday.

“We openly recognise the shortcomings on our part and would like to apologise for the impact this had upon her,” it read.

England Hockey will now undertake a review in partnership with the British Athletes Commission which will focus on the deselection process and how the national governing body can best support athletes’ wellbeing after deselection.

“We would like to place on record our best wishes to Suzy for the future,” the statement added.

Last October, Petty, who was part of Wimbledon Ladies’ promotion season, admitted to trying to beat an eating disorder that she had “on and off” for the last decade as she bid to reach full fitness ahead of GB heat testing to combat the Tokyo weather.

She wrote on Instagram: “With it being less than a year to go until the Olympic Games, I finally want to beat this eating disorder that has ruled my life for so long, I want to put myself in the best possible state physically and mentally so that I can personally do all I can to get into the GB Olympic team, but also so that I can train day in and day out to push my team mates so that we will be the best team possible.”

Sanders, a 22-year-old talent, made her international debut in 2017. Uni of Birmingham coach Phil Gooderham told THP the same year that she had a “tremendous” future ahead of her.

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