Glasgow 2014: Welsh’s Williams out due to doping charges




Welsh 400m hurdler, Rhys Williams is out of the Commonwealth Games after being charged with an anti-doping violation.
The Team Wales athletics co-captain, 30, says he is “utterly devastated” and denies knowingly taking any banned substance.
“As a professional athlete, I have always supported and have been an advocate of clean sport,” said Williams, a European champion in 2012.
The suspension followed a test at the Glasgow Grand Prix on 11 July.
A Team Wales statement added: “The athlete has the opportunity to respond to the charges against him, and to have those charges determined at a full hearing before the National Anti-Doping Panel.”
Williams is the second Welsh athlete to miss the Games over alleged drug violations after 800m runner Gareth Warburton’s suspension.
He said: “I am utterly devastated about the news of this anti-doping rule violation, which has come as a great shock to me.
“From the outset, I would strongly like to state that I have not knowingly taken any banned substance.
“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.”[eap_ad_2]
The suspension will be a further blow to Welsh medal hopes, which have also been hit by injuries to key competitors including triathletes Non Stanford and Helen Jenkins and cyclist Becky James.
Team Wales also lost Olympic silver medal-winning boxer Fred Evans, whose accreditation was refused following an investigation by Home Office and Commonwealth Games officials.
Reacting to the news, Baroness Grey-Thompson, who won 11 Paralympic gold medals, said: “I think withdrawing him is the only thing you can do at this stage.
“I don’t think we ever would have expected anything like this from him.
“It is a huge blow for Wales and for athletics. It’s a real shock right now.”
And the BBC commentator and former 1500m world champion Steve Cram said: “It’s devastating news for Rhys Williams, for Welsh athletics, for British athletics.”
He added that athletes have ultimate responsibility for what they put in their bodies.
“We can have all sorts of sympathy, but they are just going to have to go with whatever punishment comes their way,” he said.
Williams is the son of former Wales and Lions rugby player JJ Williams. (BBC Sport)[eap_ad_3]

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