Reigning Olympic champion Rafael Nadal pulls out of London 2012
Rafael Nadal, the reigning Olympic champion, has pulled out of the London 2012 Games.
The Spaniard will not compete due to injury, saying the decision to withdraw "is one of the saddest days" of his career.
"I am not able to compete at the Olympics in London and therefore will not be traveling as planned with the Spanish delegation," he said in a statement on the Spanish federation (RFET) website.
"I have to think about my colleagues. I cannot be selfish and I have to think of the good of Spanish sport, especially Spanish tennis, and let a team-mate who is better prepared to compete.
"I've waited until the final moment of my preparation and my training, but I cannot do it."
The world number three, who was was due to be the flag bearer for his country at the opening ceremony and was among their best hopes for a gold medal, expressed his disappointment.
"Today is one of the saddest days of my career.
"Perhaps one of the most special moments was to be Spain's flagbearer in the opening ceremony for the Games in London, so you can imagine how difficult it has been making this decision. "
The 26-year-old's last regular tournament was Wimbledon, the venue for the Olympic tennis tournament, where he suffered a shock second round defeat to world number 100 Lukas Rosol.
He will now be unable to defend the gold medal he won in Beijing four years ago.
RFET president Jose Luis Escanuela was also devastated, saying: "It's the worst news we could have.
"Rafa has always been an example of perseverance and tenacity, which makes it hard to miss out because surely would have loved to return to the Games. I hope he recovers quickly."
Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic will be the favourites to win gold at London 2012, while Andy Murray will be odds on to claim at least a bronze for Great Britain following Nadal's withdrawal.
Pornhub: Cheeky Liverpool fan uploads Philippe Coutinho wonder-goal video to adult website
Liverpool injury news: Brendan Rodgers could be without up to seven players for Burnley game... as Jordon Ibe posts picture of knee brace
Arsenal shareholders Stan Kroenke, Alisher Usmanov and Farhad Moshiri appear on Forbes' rich list - with a combined net worth of £14.9bn
Watch the moment a basketball player reassures a small boy after a mass brawl erupted on court
Jon Stewart brings The Daily Show to WWE Raw as Seth Rollins pays the price for feud with TV presenter
- 1 Home Office says Nigerian asylum-seeker can’t be a lesbian as she’s got children
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 4 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
- 5 Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'