World Taekwondo No.1 Aaron Cook says he is devastated after ending his pursuit of a place at the London 2012 Olympics.

The 21 year old had planned to take the British Olympic Association's ratification of his omission from the -80kg category by Great Britain Taekwondo to the High Court.

However, with less than a month to go until the opening ceremony and the substantial financial costs that entering a legal battle can incur, Cook has been forced to shelve his Olympic dream.

Aaron Cook
Devastated: Aaron Cook gives up in Olympic appeal.

"After careful consideration over the last few weeks, and despite my representatives advising me that I still had a good chance of successfully overturning the BOA's ratification of Great Britain Taekwondo's decision not to select me for London 2012, I have decided not to take my case against the BOA to the High Court," Cook said.

"The financial implications for me, and, more importantly, for my parents, of doing so are too prohibitive."

Cook, the -80kg world No.1 and current European Champion in the discipline, was overlooked for selection by GB Taekwondo, in favour of Lutalo Muhammad, himself a European Champion but at the -87kg weight.

Having left British Taekwondo's training program last year to follow his own Olympic pathway, Cook feels he has been overlooked unfairly.

Earlier this month the BOA rejected an appeal from Cook for his case to be taken to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, despite the World Taekwondo Federation accusing GB Taekwondo of a lack of transparency and bringing the sport into disrepute.

The WTF will launch a full investigation into the selection process, which saw Muhammad chosen by three panels.

"I am really disappointed that the BOA did not agree to my case being heard at the Court of Arbitration for Sport," Cook added. "It is the specialist forum for sports-related matters. The High Court is significantly more expensive, time-consuming and does not have the experience or expertise in dealing with sports-related disputes.

"The World Taekwondo Federation is currently conducting a review of British Taekwondo's selection process. It has already publicly stated that the selection process has brought the sport into disrepute due to a perceived lack of transparency.

"I welcome this investigation but I am hugely disappointed that the WTF has now indicated that it will not finalise the review and findings in time for London 2012. This is particularly disappointing as the BOA had reserved the right to reconsider its decision to ratify Great Britain Taekwondo's nomination in light of the WTF's findings. I do hope that the WTF will consider after the Games a new automatic selection criteria for the Top 10 athletes in the World Rankings in each weight category for future Olympics and World Championships."

Lutalo Mohammad
Mohammad leads a four-strong team into the Olympics

"I also hope that UK Sport and the BOA act to resolve the long-term issues that have been revealed by my case."

Having been self-funded for the past 12 months, Cook feels the potential financial penalty is too great to launch an appeal to the High Court, despite being notified he has a case against the BOA.

Muhammad leads a four-strong Taekwondo team into London 2012, but Cook will not act as an understudy to the quartet, however he does wish his advisory Muhammad the best of the luck in the search for gold.

"In the best interests of Team GB, I have decided not to take up the offer to be first reserve for London 2012. Clearly it would be hugely difficult for me to work with their coaches in view of what has happened in the last few weeks. I wish all of the athletes the very best of luck - that includes Lutalo Muhammad.

"I love my country. I love my sport. I don't think that I could have done any more in terms of my performance. I will sit down with my team though and consider my best way forward in the coming months."