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Commonwealth Games 2010: Baltacha out of tennis event

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Baltacha explains Commonwealths decision

Britain's number one tennis player Elena Baltacha has withdrawn from the Commonwealth Games in Delhi because of health concerns.

Baltacha, 27, was due to represent Scotland, but has a chronic liver condition linked to her immune system.

"After a lot of thought and discussion, I have taken the heartbreaking decision to withdraw from the Games," she said.

"Conditions in Delhi are such that going there would pose too high a risk to my health."

She added: "At the age of 27 and after many years of hard work, I am now playing the best tennis of my career and I cannot afford to jeopardise that by getting ill.

"I suffer from a liver condition which is linked to my immune system and makes me susceptible to picking up infections.

"I am incredibly disappointed because I was really excited about playing for Scotland but I will be cheering on Team Scotland with all my heart, in particular my fellow tennis players. I am very, very sad that I won't get to play alongside them."

The Scot was beaten in three sets by Hungarian Greta Arn in the final qualifying round of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo on Saturday.

The Commonwealth tennis competition is scheduled to start on 4 October at the RK Khanna Tennis Stadium and Baltacha would have been among the challengers for a medal.

Jon Doig, Team Scotland chef de mission, added: "Bally has been a huge supporter of Commonwealth Games ever since her medal-winning experience in the inaugural Commonwealth Youth Games in Edinburgh.

"She committed to representing Scotland in Delhi from the outset and I know she is absolutely gutted about having to make this decision.

"We fully respect her decision and understand that this is a very particular set of personal circumstances and this should not give cause for concern for other athletes, who we look forward to welcoming in Delhi over the next few days."

Baltacha is the latest in a long line of athletes to pull out of the Games, which have been beset by controversy.

Commonwealth Games Scotland warned earlier this week that some of the athletes' accommodation in the Games Village in Delhi was "unsafe and unfit for human habitation" but the first of the team's competitors flew out to India from Glasgow on Saturday.



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see also
Scots team heads to Delhi Games
25 Sep 10 |  Scotland
Photographs expose Delhi concerns
23 Sep 10 |  Commonwealth Games
British teams raise Delhi doubts
21 Sep 10 |  Commonwealth Games
Baltacha falls to Szavay in Seoul
23 Sep 10 |  Tennis
Baltacha through opener in Seoul
20 Sep 10 |  Tennis
Baltacha breaks into world top 50
14 Sep 10 |  Tennis


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