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Wales hurdler Rhys Williams out after positive dope test

AFP

Rhys Williams celebrates after winning the men's 400m hurdles final at the European Athletics Championships in Helsinki, on June 29, 2012Rhys Williams celebrates after winning the men's 400m hurdles final at the European Athletics Championships in Helsinki, on June 29, 2012

Rhys Williams celebrates after winning the men's 400m hurdles final at the European Athletics Championships in Helsinki, on June 29, 2012Rhys Williams celebrates after winning the men's 400m hurdles final at the European Athletics Championships in Helsinki, on June 29, 2012

Welsh 400m hurdler Rhys Williams, son of 1970s Wales and British Lion rugby icon 'JJ', has been withdrawn from the Commonwealth Games after failing a doping test.

The Welsh team in Glasgow said Williams, the European champion and a bronze medallist in New Delhi in 2010, had been handed a "mandatory provisional suspension from all competition by UK Anti-Doping, after being charged with committing an anti-doping rule violation under the IAAF Anti-Doping Rules following an in-competition test at the Glasgow Grand Prix on 11 July 2014".

It is the second failed doping test to hit the Wales team following that of 800m runner Gareth Warburton last week.

"Team Wales has worked with athletes to ensure they understand their anti-doping responsibilities," the body said in a statement.

"All athletes and athlete support personnel have had access to anti-doping education through their national governing body, which has been facilitated by Sport Wales and approved by UK Anti-Doping."

The 30-year-old Williams, who had been named co-captain of the Wales team and was due to have run in the 400m hurdles, said he had been left "devastated" by the news of his positive test.

"I am utterly devastated about the news of this anti-doping rule violation, which has come as a great shock to me," he said.

"From the outset, I would strongly like to state that I have not knowingly taken any banned substance.

"As a professional athlete, I have always supported and have been an advocate of clean sport.

"However, I recognise that the responsibility for this situation lies with me and I'm committed to working with UK Anti-Doping and will fully cooperate in the legal process.

"I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all the best to my teammates at the Commonwealth Games."

Williams added: "To be named Co-Team Captain for the Welsh Athletics Team was a great honour and I am distraught that I won't be able to fulfil this role and join them as part of Team Wales.

"I wish them all well. Finally, in line with this process and until the hearing of the National Anti-Doping Panel, I will not be making any further comment."

Date created : 2014-07-25