Mo Farah withdraws from Commonwealth Games in Glasgow

Double Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah has withdrawn from the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow after failing to recover from a recent illness.

Farah, 31, won the 5,000m and 10,000m at London 2012 and was set to run both distances in Scotland.

However, he has decided to stay at his training camp to be fit for August's European Championships in Zurich.

The Team England athlete said it was a "tough decision", adding: "The sickness I had two weeks ago was a big setback."

Chief sports writer Tom Fordyce on Farah's withdrawal

Read Tom's review of Glasgow 2014 Day One here

"While Farah's absence is not a shock considering his disrupted season since his London Marathon debut in April, it is a blow to both the England team and the Commonwealth Games. As one of the bona fide global stars in Glasgow and, along with Usain Bolt, the most instantly recognisable athlete here, Farah's 5,000m and 10,000m finals were among the most eagerly anticipated events. There could be no bigger withdrawal from the home nations."

He added: "Training is getting better but I need another few weeks to get back to the level I was at in 2012 and 2013.

"I really wanted to add the Commonwealth titles to my Olympic and World Championships, but the event is coming a few weeks too soon for me.

"My body is telling me it's not ready to race yet."

Farah's decision is another setback to the Games after a number of key withdrawals in athletics events.

Jamaican Yohan Blake, Olympic silver medallist at London 2012 in the 100m and 200m, was ruled out because he needed a hamstring operation and England's Katarina Johnson-Thompson withdrew from the women's heptathlon on Monday with a foot injury.

Mo Farah

In March, Mo Farah collapsed after completing the New York City Half Marathon

Farah had missed the Diamond League meeting in Glasgow earlier this month because of illness but had been confident of appearing, saying that "training was going good".

Team England Chef de Mission Jan Paterson said: "It is a real blow for any athlete to miss out on a major championships through injury, but to have fought so hard to regain full fitness and to have to take such a difficult decision is particularly hard."

BBC Sport athletics pundit Steve Cram said: "It's hugely disappointing for Mo and the event.

"We knew he had been struggling. He's just run out of time to be in shape and I was really hoping he would have run the 10,000m at least.

"Running the marathon earlier in the year has upset his normal pattern and had an impact on his summer."

Big names missing from Glasgow 2014

Yohan Blake (Jamaica) - Ex-world 100m champion- hamstring operation

Mark Cavendish (Isle of Man) - Ex-world champion cyclist - shoulder injury

Dwain Chambers (England) - British 100m champion - Euro focus

Jessica Ennis-Hill (England) - Olympic heptathlon champion - had a baby

Mo Farah (England) - Olympic 5,000m & 10,000m champion - illness

Becky James (Wales) - Two-time world champion cyclist - knee injury

Katarina Johnson-Thompson (England) - Heptathlon star - foot injury

Asafa Powell (Jamaica) - Ex-world 100m record holder - banned

Non Stanford (Wales) - Current triathlon world champion - ankle injury

Cram, who twice claimed Commonwealth Games 1500m gold and won the 800m in Edinburgh in 1986, believes Farah would have only raced in Scotland if he were 100% fit.

"He knows how hard the 5,000m and 10,000m are going to be here, so he didn't want to put himself at risk of not winning," added Cram.

"It's not like the Europeans, where the competition is not particularly strong. He would not have wanted to come here and not be at his best, but he'll be a big miss."

Glasgow 2014 chief executive David Grevemberg also admitted Farah's absence was a blow.

He said: "There's no question we're disappointed that Mo Farah announced he would be withdrawing. We're very disappointed for Mo. We knew how much he wanted to be here.

"I'm sure there will be some disappointed people, but there are plenty of great athletes who are here and will be competing."