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Monday, 29 July, 2002, 14:13 GMT 15:13 UK

Injury ends Haye's golden dream

David Haye's bid for Commonwealth heavyweight gold is over after suffering an arm injury.

The 21-year-old, who was the favourite to win his weight class, had his fate decided by team doctors on Monday.

But the manner of his withdrawal has angered England's head boxing coach Ian Irwin, who said that Haye failed to inform him about the injury.

"I am very upset about this - Commonwealth gold was a big ambition for me and now it won't happen"
David Haye

"It was not the best way to handle the situation but elite athletes don't always do what you want them to do," Irwin said.

"He's a young man and he's a little bit naive."

Haye sustained the injury against Pakistan's Ali Shaukat in his first bout in Manchester on Friday.

He comfortably secured a third round stoppage, though that proved to be his one and only contest at the Games.

Irwin accused Haye of breaching his Team England contract by leaving the village on Saturday without permission to seek treatment in London.

"We have got the best possible medical facilties on site here," Irwin said.

"If there is somebody else who can provide better advice in the appropriate area then I'm prepared to listen but there is a contract signed and a channel he has got to go through."

All England representatives are required to sign a contract which requires them to keep their respective team managers informed about their problems and their whereabouts.

Irwin added that he expected Haye to return to London for more treatment rather than remaining in Manchester to support the rest of the team.

'Brightest prospect'

Team manager Peter Hayes said: "It is unfortunate that David has had to withdraw as he was one of our brightest medal prospects."

Haye said in a statement issued by Team England: "I am very upset about this. Commonwealth gold was a big ambition for me and now it won't happen.

"I'm going to concentrate on getting my arm back in shape to start training again as soon as I can be."

Haye was expected to turn pro if he won in Manchester, though he may now focus on winning a gold medal at the Athens Olympics in 2004.

He said last week: "One day I'd like to emulate Evander Holyfield and become a two-weight world champion at cruiserweight and then at heavyweight.

"I don't mind putting myself under pressure. I thrive on pressure. I like the big stage and I like millions of people watching me."


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