Peterborough Panthers are waiting to hear from former world champion Sam Ermolenko this week, as the former world champion decides whether or not to sign on for 2002.

Club bosses want the American veteran to fill the #5 race jacket, and are waiting to hear from the Wolves rider as to whether he wants one final crack at Elite League racing before retiring. Ermolenko, 40, has long been admired by the Alwalton promoters and he performed with distinction when guesting for the club last year.

The 1993 world champion just failed to qualify for this season's Grand Prix series after crashing out of the GP Challenge, and his non-participation in the sport's blue riband event makes him a valuable commodity in the light of restriction on the use of GP riders in British league competition.

Despite his advancing years, and a string of bad injuries in recent years, Ermolenko is still a top class heat leader. He is hugely respected by his fellow riders and would also be a big asset in the pits with his enthusiasm and strong team ethic.

He would complete a powerful heat leader line-up for Panthers next year alongside skipper and number one Ryan Sullivan and exciting new Polish signing Piotr Protaciewicz.