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Fri Apr 25 10:16:27 SAST 2014

Robles plans to sit out 2013 in protest

Anne-Marie, Sapa-AP | 13 January, 2013 11:340 Comments
Olympics Day 12 - Athletics
Dayron Robles of Cuba looks on after pulling up injured in the men's 110m hurdles final during the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 8, 2012 in London, England
Image by: Streeter Lecka / Getty Images

The coach of Dayron Robles says the 2008 Olympic 110-metre hurdles champion will sit out the year because he is upset with his treatment from Cuban sports officials.

Robles’ coach, Santiago Antunez, told the Associated Press on Saturday that Robles doesn’t want to go on. Antunez said he hadn’t been able to change his mind.

“Dayron is very upset,” Antunez said. “He doesn’t feel like he’s being taken care of, and it’s not about money or things like that. Rather, it’s a human problem, a question of personal attention.

"Nobody speaks with him, nobody explains anything, nobody says anything. ... He doesn’t want to go on.” 

Robles won the gold medal in Beijing, but pulled up midway through the gold-medal race in London clutching his right hamstring.

Antunez said, at 26, Robles still had the ability to get better. But he acknowledged he had picked up lots of injuries since 2008 and lost his world record last year to American Aries Merritt.

“What Dayron has achieved so far, he had done overcoming many problems,” Antunez said. “He could never train all-out.” 

Antunez said Robles still had the ability to break Merritt’s world record of 12.80 seconds. Robles’ old record was 12.87.

Given Robles’ mood, Antunez said he was also thinking about retiring.

“I only keep going on because of Dayron,” he said. “I have a moral obligation as a coach. ... He is like my son and I never wanted to abandon him. But right now I am thinking seriously about retiring and, as they say, watching from the stands.”

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