Usain Bolt's troubled preparation for the defence of his Olympic sprint crowns continued yesterday when the Jamaican was forced to pull out of the Diamond League meeting in Monaco on 20 July.
Bolt, who was beaten into second place in the 100 metres and the 200m at the Jamaica trials, was said to be suffering from a "slight problem", according to his coach, Glen Mills. Bolt was scheduled to run the 200m in Monaco in what would have been his last race before the London Games, which begin on 27 July.
Mills said: "Arising from Usain's participation at the trials in Kingston this past weekend where he had a slight problem, after careful assessment I have had to withdraw him from the Diamond League meeting in Monaco to give him sufficient time for treatment and time to train and prepare for the Games."
Bolt insists that there is no doubt over his participation in London – the thought of no Bolt is enough to make Seb Coe and the Games organisers break out in a cold sweat – but his build-up to defending his 100m and 200m titles has been unusually problematic.
"I am happy to have earned my spot on the Jamaican Olympic team despite the challenge," said Bolt. "I will be in London to defend my titles in the 100, 200 and 4x100m."
There were no further details yesterday as to what the problem might be, or whether that was being suggested as a reason for his trials defeats by Yohan Blake. Bolt was seen stretching his right hamstring during the trials. By the time competition begins in London he will only have raced one 200m this year – that defeat by Blake earlier this week. The 100m final in London is on 5 August and the 200m is four days later.
Bolt broke the world record in the 100m and 200m in winning in Beijing in 2008, but Blake's two victories against his training partner in the space of three days have thrown both races wide open this time round.
"I'm never worried until my coach gets worried," said Bolt after his 200m defeat, which was by 0.03sec. Mills's decision yesterday suggests it might be time to start getting concerned.