Wales

Glasgow 2014: Wales' Commonwealth Games woes mount

  • 25 July 2014
  • From the section Wales
Williams, Warburton, Evans, Brace Image copyright Getty, PA, BBC
Image caption Rhys Williams, Gareth Warburton, Fred Evans and Ashley Brace have all been stopped from competing

Wales' stuttering Commonwealth Games campaign took yet another blow on Friday after athletics co-captain Rhys Williams failed a drugs test.

The 400m hurdler is the second Welsh athlete to miss the Games over alleged drug violations after 800m runner Gareth Warburton's suspension.

Added to that, leading medal hopes have pulled out in the build-up with injury or having their accreditation removed.

And Team Wales conceded their target of 27 medals will be tough to hit.

The first of those medals was won on Thursday evening with a team silver in rhythmic gymnastics.

But so far Wales' 2014 Games will be remembered for the wrong reasons with Williams the latest to be added to that list.

Media captionTanni Grey-Thompson said the guidance on banned substances was clear

The 30-year-old son of former Wales and Lions rugby player JJ Williams tested positive for both his A and B samples when tested at the Glasgow Grand Prix on 11 July.

The 2012 European champion has been banned from all competition by UK Anti-Doping pending a hearing and says he is "devastated" while denying knowingly taking any banned substance.

His suspension, along with Warburton, has prompted the chief executive of Welsh Athletics to launch his own investigation.

Matt Newman said: "All of the athletes have been through a comprehensive education programme as part of their selection from the long list back in November.

"Both of these athletes are Olympians and have been through a very strict education programme for the London Olympics as well. Clearly something has happened that has broken the code of conduct that's been set out in that education."

Away from the track, gold medal hopeful and 2012 Olympic silver medallist boxer Fred Evans was ruled out earlier this week after being refused accreditation.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Becky James, Helen Jenkins and Non Stanford are injured while Leanda Cave was not selected

The reasons are unclear but follows checks by the Home Office and Games officials.

Kick boxer Ashley Brace is also missing from the Games after being banned by the International Boxing Association who said she had kick boxed professionally.

And there has also been a row involving triathlete Leanda Cave who criticised Team Wales claiming they did not have a back-up plan after Helen Jenkins and Non Stanford pulled out through injury.

But the body said Cave could not have been called up to replace them because she had not been nominated by Welsh Triathlon.

If that host of missing medal hopefuls was not enough, two-time world champion Becky James is also out of the track cycling events with a knee injury.

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