Asafa Powell, the Jamaican sprinter and former 100-meter world record holder, withdrew today from the world track and field championships with an injury to his groin. Powell had said as recently as Saturday that he was fit enough to take on current sprint king Usain Bolt, and his absence cancels the most highly anticipated matchup of the championships, which begin Saturday in Daegu, South Korea. Powell reportedly strained his groin weeks ago and has not recovered. The "strain is still lingering," Powell's agent, Paul Doyle, told the Associated Press. "He is not quite 100 percent." Powell's withdrawal is the latest in curious litany of problems affecting the world's top sprinters. American Justin Gatlin's fitness is questionable after he showed up in Daegu with frostbitten feet, and his teammates Tyson Gay, Wallace Spearmon, and Jeremy Dodson are all missing with problems ranging from injuries to legal troubles. Earlier this month, U.S. sprinter Mike Rodgers was suspended for a doping violation, days after top sprinter Steve Mullings tested positive and was kicked off the Jamaican team.
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