JUDO; Kingston thrown out

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The Independent Online
DANNY KINGSTON, the wayward but talented former European lightweight champion, will not be going to the European championships in Bratislava next week after the British Judo Association adopted a new get-tough policy and accused him of "failing to demonstrate maturity, self-discipline and commitment expected of world class athletes".

Announcing the team, Udo Quellmalz, the new Performance Director in charge of the British squad, said that both Kingston and another former European champion, the middleweight Ryan Birch, had forfeited their places after a scene at the national training session in Cardiff last week when both were told to leave. They had returned late one night and refused to let officials into their room to discuss the matter. Birch's place has been taken by the 20-year-old Londoner Winston Gordon, but no one is replacing Kingston.

Quellmalz, who has supported Kingston despite his involvement in a number of controversies, admitted: "I cannot go on saying how talented he is... only if he changes his attitudes will he win the big medals." Neither Kingston nor Birch were available for comment.

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