Gareth Warburton Banned From Commonwealth Games

Welsh 800m runner Gareth Warburton has been provisionally suspended from all competition for committing anti-doping violations, according to an announcement by UK Athletics.

Warburton was charged with committing anti-doping rule violations under UK Athletics Anti-Doping Rules (presence of prohibited substances). The 800m runner competed in the London Olympics and was expected to compete for Wales in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The 31-year-old athlete, who hails from Caernarfon, has the opportunity to respond to the charges against him.

A Welsh Athletics statement said Welsh Athletics can confirm the provisional suspension of athlete Gareth Warburton after being charged with committing anti-doping rule violations under UK Athletics Anti-Doping Rules (presence of prohibited substances). It was added that Gareth has the opportunity to respond to the charges against him, and to have those charges determined at a full hearing before the National Anti-Doping Panel. The statement also said Welsh Athletics strongly supports clean sport and has established a comprehensive education program for its athletes and also remarked Welsh Athletics will not be making any further comment.

Brian Davies, Chef de Mission of Team Wales, said Team Wales can confirm that one of the competitors selected for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games has been provisionally suspended after being charged with committing an anti-doping rule violation. Davies remarked Gareth Warburton as a result will no longer be able to compete at the Games and went on to remark that as the athlete is presumed innocent unless and until the charges brought against him have been upheld it would be inappropriate for us to comment further. Davies also said Team Wales is committed to providing athletes with the necessary education required to ensure we compete as clean athletes at a clean Games, and have worked closed with UK Anti-Doping in the build up to Glasgow 2014.

In another development, double world champion Helen Jenkins has pulled out of Glasgow through injury. Considered by many as Wales’ main medal triathlon hope, Jenkins was ruled out with a leg problem. Jenkins remarked she is obviously devastated and added she was very proud to be selected to represent Wales and was looking forward to racing on a tough, honest triathlon course in Strathclyde. The 30-year-old she will get more information from the specialist but with a grade two tear of her Plantar Fascia, it’s almost certain that she would not be racing again this season. The Bridgend star, who finished fifth at the London Olympics in 2012 and was crowned world champion in 2008 and 2011, she particularly wants to thank her support team who have worked so hard to get her back racing after such a difficult 18 months after the Olympics. Brian Davies remarked it is undoubtedly a huge blow to the team and she’ll be sorely missed but first and foremost our thoughts are with Helen. The Chef de Mission of Team Wales said we wish her a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing her in action again in the near future.

The Commonwealth triathlon takes place on the opening day of the Games, July 24.

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