Team Scotland athletes withdraw from Gold Coast squad
Rio Olympian Andy Butchart is one of three Team Scotland athletes who have been forced to withdraw from the Commonwealth Games
Endurance runner Butchart, pole vaulter Jax Thoirs and high jumper Emma Nuttall will not be competing at the Gold Coast in April after losing their battles with injury and fitness problems.
Butchart participated in the 3000m at New York's Millrose Games on February 3, but during the race fractured the navicular bone in his right foot, with an MRI scan in Boston revealing the extent of the injury.
He posted on Instagram: "With 500m to go during my 3000m race at the Millrose Games last weekend I felt a sharp pain in my right foot.
"I am heartbroken to miss Gold Coast 2018! It definitely sucks and I won't be racing for a while… but I'm going to come back faster, fitter and stronger than ever!
"Good luck to all with Team Scotland in Australia."
He will no longer be competing alongside girlfriend Lynsey Sharp at the Games, and tweeted: "Don't worry lads and ladies – the team is still gonna be the best we've ever had. Just not the best looking."
Butchart was a strong medal hope for Team Scotland, after managing to finish sixth in the 5000m final at the Rio Olympics in 2016, where he recorded a personal best time of 13:08:61.
Teammate Thoirs, meanwhile, started the indoor season well but a blood clot issue and rib surgery have scuppered his chances of competing at the Games.
And a recent diagnosis of tendinopathy in her left knee has ruled Nuttall out of training, meaning that competition is on hold until early in the summer season – a trip to the Gold Coast in early April proving too soon.
Jon Doig OBE, Team Scotland Chef de Mission, offered his sympathies to the athletes.
He said: "Sincere commiserations to Andy, Jax and Emma. I know just how much they were all looking forward to representing Team Scotland at Gold Coast 2018 and to succumb to injury at this late stage is a huge blow.
"We wish them all a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing them back in action later in the season.
"Despite their own personal disappointment I am sure they will be cheering on their team mates when the Games get underway in just over 50 days' time."
Replacements for the absent Team Scotland athletes will be announced in due course.