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LONDON OLYMPICS

Cycling champ Sánchez unable to defend Olympic title

Under-suspicion steeplechaser Mullera withdrawn by Spanish Olympic Committee

Rafael Nadal is not the only member of Spain’s Olympic team who won’t be making it to London. Cyclist Samuel Sánchez has also ruled himself out of the Games because of injury, while 3,000m steeplechaser Ángel Mullera has been removed from the Spanish Olympic track & field team following recent revelations over alleged doping.

A gold medalist four years ago in Beijing, Sánchez has been fighting to recover from the fall he sustained in stage eight of this year’s Tour de France that left him with a fractured right hand and bruised left collarbone. However, on Thursday he admitted he would not be fit in time to defend his road-race title.

“It is the most painful sporting decision [I have had to take] in a long time,” he said in a statement released by his team Euskaltel-Euskadi. “I am the current Olympic champion and I would have liked to defend a medal that changed my life.”

His position on the team will be taken by Movistar cyclist Jonathan Castroviejo.

Meanwhile, the Spanish Athletics Federation’ Technical Committee announced on Friday that Mullera will be replaced by reserve athlete Sebastián Martos in London, after police revealed they were investigating an email exchange between Mullera and an anonymous doping expert. The move comes independently of any disciplinary action that could be initiated.

Although the Federation had known about the email exchange since the start of the year, it had not previously taken any action.

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