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Page last updated at 12:50 GMT, Tuesday, 30 March 2010 13:50 UK

Olympic champion Jamie Staff retires because of injury

Jason Kenny, Jamie Staff and Chris Hoy stand atop the podium
Staff (centre) was renowned as the fastest starter in the world

Olympic champion Jamie Staff has retired from competitive cycling at the age of 36 due to a chronic back injury.

Staff, who plans to go into coaching, has been unable to train 100% since last October because of a bulging disc.

He won team sprint gold in Beijing in 2008, was a three-time track world champion and was also BMX world champion in 1996.

"I've accomplished all my goals in winning world and Olympic titles at two cycling disciplines," said Staff.

"I now feel it's time to pass the challenge on to the younger members of the Great Britain squad in the lead-up to the London Olympics in 2012."

After a successful professional career in BMX, he switched his attention to the track in search of Olympic gold, as the class was not incorporated into the Games until 2008.

He became renowned as the world's fastest starter, winning his first World Championships gold in Copenhagen in 2002, a year after joining the British track team.

He struck Olympic gold in 2008 in partnership with Jason Kenny and Sir Chris Hoy.

Staff, who was also the world keirin champion in 2004, was at last week's Track Cycling World Championships in Denmark working as a commentator and saw Kenny shine in his absence as first man away.

Prior to the World Championships, Staff said he was considering his future and, with the performance of Kenny in his specialist position, he leaves the team in a strong position.

"I feel that looking at the big picture," he added, "I would struggle to compete with the best riders in the world at the London Olympics and be in a position to win the gold medal again."

Sir Chris Hoy

Great Britain's men's sprint team won world bronze in Staff's absence

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see also
Staff injury may end world hopes
15 Jan 10 |  Cycling
Staff's 2012 dream 'under threat'
03 Nov 09 |  Cycling
GB stars race to three more golds
01 Nov 09 |  Cycling
Funding boost for Ashford's Staff
10 Nov 08 |  Cycling
Gold hero Staff honoured by town
16 Oct 08 |  Olympics
Awesome GB sprint team take gold
15 Aug 08 |  Cycling

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