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Rutherford won't defend long jump title on Gold Coast

Rutherford will not defend his long jump title at this year's Commonwealth Games due to what he perceives to be a lack of preparation. Credit: PA

Greg Rutherford will not defend his long jump title at this year's Commonwealth Games due to what he perceives to be a lack of preparation.

Rutherford clinched gold at Glasgow four years ago but his decision to take some time away from athletics has left him feeling unable to sufficiently prepare to compete on Australia's Gold Coast.

He said: "Withdrawing from Team England is not a decision that's been easy for me to make. However, in previous years I've attended major championships without a good training block behind me and my performance has suffered as a result.

"I really would have loved to have been involved with the team. The Commonwealth Games have been brilliant over the years for me and my two medals from three Games have been highlights for me.

"I am planning on easing myself back into competition, possibly indoors, and then building to the summer season.

"I want to wish the team all the very best out in Australia."

British Athletics suspend javelin coach

Parker has been suspended following allegations of an inappropriate relationship. Credit: PA

British Athletics javelin coach David Parker has been suspended following allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a female athlete.

The 37-year-old is the lead throws coach at Loughborough University and has a part-time contract with British Athletics, where he works under the national governing body's throws and jumps coach Peter Stanley.

The relationship is understood to have taken place with an athlete at the university.

In a statement, British Athletics said: "British Athletics and Loughborough University can confirm that a coach has been suspended pending an investigation.

"Both organisations are working closely to support any athlete who may be impacted in any way."

Parker, the world junior javelin champion in 1998, was the British team leader at the European U23 Championship in Poland this summer.

Clough dismisses talk of Burton trial for Bolt

Usain Bolt Credit: PA

Nigel Clough has laughed off suggestions that Burton Albion could offer sprint legend Usain Bolt a trial at the club.

Burton chairman Ben Robinson this week claimed that the Championship side could offer the eight-time Olympic medallist a chance to launch an unlikely career in football now that he has retired from athletics.

But speaking after Burton's 2-0 defeat against Middlesbrough on Tuesday, Clough light-heartedly dismissed his chairman's comments.

I didn't know he [the chairman] picked the players, he'll have to come down and spend 10 minutes in the technical area and see how he goes.

Would that be a loan or permanent? I'm not quite sure. He would certainly add some pace.

As long as he doesn't want much money I'm sure we will be OK.

– Clough to Sky Sports News

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