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Page last updated at 05:57 GMT, Wednesday, 22 September 2010 06:57 UK

English trio pull out of Commonwealth Games

 Phillips Idowu

Idowu wins European 2010 triple jump crown (UK users only)

English athletes Phillips Idowu, Christine Ohuruogu and Lisa Dobriskey have all pulled out of the Commonwealth Games, which start on 3 October.

World triple jump champion Idowu has concerns over security preparations for the Games, whereas Ohuruogu and Dobriskey both have injury worries.

All three were due to defend their Commonwealth titles in Delhi.

The withdrawals came as the athletes' village was criticised and branded as unfit for human habitation.

On his Twitter feed Idowu, 31, said: "Sorry people, but I have children to think about. My safety is more important to them than a medal."

He added in a further message: "I understand people will be disappointed that I will not be competing. I am disappointed.

"If you know me as an athlete you will know these games mean a lot to me. It's the champs in which I won my first medal.

"All the press about bridges collapsing and 23+ people being hurt, floods and inhabitable living conditions, getting my daughter ready for school this morning and seeing all of that put me off. I can't afford to risk my safety in the slightest."

However, Idowu's agent Ricky Simms urged the triple jumper to mull things over before making a firm decision.

Simms told ITV News at Ten: "We haven't announced anything officially. What I have advised him to do is just have a think about it."

Fellow Londoner Ohuruogu, the Olympic 400m champion, said she did not want to risk aggravating a muscle problem after suffering cramp during training.

Dobriskey, who hails from Kent, won the 1500m at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne but has been troubled by a leg injury.

Christine Ohuruogu

Ohuruogu wins 2009 UK 400m title (UK only)

In a statement on her official website, Ohuruogu said: "I am disappointed... but the last thing an athlete wants is to re-risk injury to the same muscle."

The 26-year-old missed the second part of the 2010 track and field season because of an injury to her left quadriceps.

She added: "It was very important for me to be cautious in dealing with my previous injury.

"Although training was progressing well, intense competition over three days may prove to be more harmful than good and may compromise the long-term functioning of the muscle.


"With three rounds in the 400m in Delhi, I would need to be close to my best to win the gold.

"I had already picked up my team kit and was getting ready to go the preparation camp in Doha. Instead I will have a short break now and resume training in October to get ready for the 2011 season.

"I would like to wish my fellow athletes all the best for Delhi and I hope they bring home a lot of medals."

Lisa Dobriskey

Dobriskey wins 1500m silver at 2009 Worlds (UK only)

Dobriskey, 26, a silver medallist at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, has been told to rest by doctors.

She had injury problems earlier this season but worked hard to get herself fit for the European Championships in Barcelona, where she finished fourth on 1 August.

"I was really looking forward to competing and I'd worked so hard to get back into shape," Dobriskey stated.

"I'm really disappointed but I just ran out of time. I want to wish all the best to the athletes out in Delhi."

The Games had already been hit with several high-profile withdrawals, including Jamaica's champion Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt and Kenya's David Rudisha, who broke the 800m world record twice in August.

On Tuesday, team bosses said they were "optimistic" England would compete but that urgent work was needed before the Games begin.

Scottish officials found their original accommodation to be "unsafe and unfit for human habitation".

Delegates who visited the tower blocks where athletes will live during the Games had described them as filthy, with rubble lying in doorways, dogs inside the buildings, toilets not working and excrement "in places it shouldn't be".

New Zealand chef de mission Dave Currie has suggested the Games might even have to be cancelled.

To add to the concerns, an elevated walkway at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium collapsed on Tuesday, injuring 23 construction workers, five seriously.

But organising committee secretary-general Lalit Bhanot insisted: "The situation is under control."

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see also
Withdrawal threats to Delhi Games
22 Sep 10 |  South Asia
British teams raise Delhi doubts
21 Sep 10 |  Commonwealth Games
India vows to fix Games village
21 Sep 10 |  South Asia
Aussie Samuels out of Delhi Games
21 Sep 10 |  Commonwealth Games
Games bosses clean accommodation
21 Sep 10 |  Scotland
Idowu wins Euro triple jump gold
29 Jul 10 |  Athletics
Ohuruogu misses out on Euro place
06 Jul 10 |  Athletics

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