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Injury forces Olympic champion Aramnau out of Games

MYT 11:05:08 PM

MINSK (Reuters) - Olympic champion Andrei Aramnau has been forced to pull out of the London Games because of a thigh injury, the Belarussian weightlifter said on Tuesday.

"Unfortunately I pulled a muscle in my thigh. It's quite serious," Aramnau told local media. "It would take me about two months to recover, so London is out of the question."

Olympic weightlifter Andrei Aramnau lifts weights during a training session at a sports base in the town of Bobruisk, some 140 km (87 miles) southeast of Minsk, March 21, 2012. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko

Aramnau has had his share of problems since winning the 105kg gold in Beijing four years ago, breaking several world records in the process. He was named the Belarus Athlete of the Year in 2008 following his Olympic triumph.

But just a couple of months later, his first drunk-driving offence cost him his driving licence and a repeat the following year eventually led to a two-year ban.

But the 24-year-old said he had been training hard in recent months to get ready for London.

"I was in great shape, but for whatever reason my coach had asked me to compete in a meaningless competition, where I first suffered the injury," he said.

"Then this weekend, in my last competition before leaving for London, I tried to jerk a record weight and just aggravated it. That was it, the Olympics are now over for me."

(Reporting By Timofei Zinovyev; writing by Gennady Fyodorov; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

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