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Pickering out of bobsleigh with back injury

ESPN staff
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Craig Pickering competed in the 4x100m relay in Beijing 2008 © Getty Images
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Craig Pickering has withdrawn from Great Britain's bobsleigh team at the Winter Olympics in Sochi because of a back injury.

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The Jamaican bobsled team became cult heroes around the world © Getty Images
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The former sprinter, who switched to bobsleigh after losing his athlete funding in October, suffered a slipped disc during training five days ago.

Pickering was set to race in the two-man event on February 16 and the four-man event on February 22.

However, the injury has ruled him out, with a replacement to be decided within the next 24 hours.

"I am devastated. We worked so hard to qualify the 'GBR 2' sled for the Games and I am gutted that I won't be on the start line with Lamin [Deen], John [Baines] and Ben [Simpson]," Pickering told the BBC.

Pickering competed in the 4x100m relay at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, and was primed to become only the eighth British athlete to take part in both a summer and winter Olympics.

Performance director Gary Anderson added: "This is a big blow and I am personally devastated for Craig. I spoke with him just after we heard from the doctors and he was clearly very upset - he had worked so hard to get to the point of selection for Sochi."

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