Duncan Scott has withdrawn from the British Swimming team heading out to the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest as he continues his recovery from a recent bout of COVID.
Scott - who produced an iconic anchor leg of freestyle to secure Britain a historic Men's 4x100m Medley Relay gold at the last World Championships in 2019 - was out of the pool with COVID and is now managing his period of recovery as he builds up intensity in training.
"I'm gutted. I've decided to pull out from the World Championships that start this week! Absolutely devastated," said the six-time Olympic medallist when confirming the news.
"Since returning from COVID, I've been really struggling with high intensity. Now it's time to put my health first and focus on recovery."
Scott follows fellow Olympic champions Adam Peaty and Kathleen Dawson in being unavailable for the Budapest-bound team. Peaty withdrew last month after fracturing a bone in his foot, while Dawson is continuing an ongoing back injury rehabilitation, which also means she is missing this summer's Commonwealth Games with Team Scotland.
On that, Dawson said: "I’m incredibly disappointed not to be competing at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham this summer. I love representing Team Scotland and had really hoped to be competing, but my back needs rest and I know this is the right decision for me in the long term."
Speaking about the University of Stirling duo Duncan and Kathleen being unavailable, British Swimming Performance Director Chris Spice said: "We are so disappointed for Duncan and Kathleen. They both enjoyed brilliant Olympic Games less than 12 months ago, and we know what crucial members of the British team they would have been again in Budapest.
"For them not to be able to see how they would have performed when at their best on the international stage once again is such a shame - but we also know they will come back even stronger after their respective periods of recovery. They have our full support as they step back up in intensity, and we will be backing them as always once they are back in a competition pool."