Elena Baltacha has withdrawn from the Commonwealth Games Tennis competition in Delhi, which is due to start on Monday 4 October at the R.K. Khanna Tennis Stadium.
Baltacha suffers from a chronic liver condition (primary sclerosing cholangitis)which is linked to her immune system and she believes the level of health risk for her personally is too great. She has therefore taken the difficult decision to withdraw.
Bally said: “After a lot of thought and discussion, I have taken the heartbreaking decision to withdraw from the Commonwealth Games.
“I am incredibly disappointed because I was really excited about playing for Scotland but conditions in Delhi, particularly in relation to Dengue fever, are such that going there would pose too high a risk to my health.
“I suffer from a liver condition which is linked to my immune system and makes me susceptible to picking up infections. At the age of 27 and after many years of hard work, I am now playing the best tennis of my career and I cannot afford to jeopardize that by getting ill.
“I will be cheering on Team Scotland with all my heart, in particular my fellow tennis players Mhairi, Joss, Colin and Jamie. I am very, very sad that I won’t get to play alongside them.”
On hearing the news, Jon Doig, Team Scotland Chef de Mission, said: “Bally has been a huge supporter of Commonwealth Games ever since her medal winning experience in the inaugural Commonwealth Youth Games in Edinburgh. She committed to representing Scotland in Delhi from the outset and I know she is absolutely gutted about having to make this decision.
“Whilst we are obviously disappointed that Elena has decided to withdraw from the Games, we fully respect her decision. We understand that this is a very particular set of personal circumstances and this should not give cause for concern for other athletes, who we look forward to welcoming in Delhi over the next few days.
“We wish Elena all the very best with her career and look forward to seeing her continue to progress up the world rankings.”