Rhys Williams out of Commonwealth Games for doping
European hurdles champ suspended
European 400-metre hurdles champion Rhys Williams was ruled out of the Commonwealth Games on Friday after becoming the second Welsh athlete suspended for a doping offence this month.
Williams, co-captain of the Welsh track and field team, has been suspended from all competition after being charged with an anti-doping violation at the Glasgow Grand Prix on July 11. He finished sixth in the 400 hurdles at the Diamond League meet.
Details of the violation were not disclosed.
"I am utterly devastated about the news of this anti-doping rule violation, which has come as a great shock to me," Williams said on his website. "From the outset, I would strongly like to state that I have not knowingly taken any banned substance. As a professional athlete, I have always supported and have been an advocate of clean sport."
The 30-year-old Williams, son of Welsh rugby great J.J. Williams, won the European title in Helsinki in 2012 and bronze at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.
"I recognize that the responsibility for this situation lies with me and I'm committed to working with U.K. Anti-Doping and will fully co-operate in the legal process," Williams said.
Welsh teammate Gareth Warburton, who had been due to compete in the 800 metres at the Commonwealth Games, is also going through a U.K. Anti-Doping disciplinary procedure after being charged with anti-doping offences last week.
"Welsh Athletics is obviously concerned that this is the second anti-doping violation by a senior Welsh international athlete and will be conducting its own internal review," Welsh Athletics said in a statement.