Wales should have had Fred Evans replacement lined up, says Jamie Arthur

CHAMPION: Jamie Arthur won gold at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester

CHAMPION: Jamie Arthur won gold at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester

First published in Sport
Last updated

CWMBRAN’S former Commonwealth Games champion boxer Jamie Arthur says Wales should have had a reserve in place for Fred Evans if his participation was in doubt.

Evans, who was guided to an Olympic silver medal at London 2012 by Newport trainer Tony Borg, has been refused accreditation to compete in Glasgow.

The reasons remain unclear but Welsh officials have had “rigorous” talks for weeks with “all relevant bodies,”

“It is disappointing it's been left until the last minute," said Arthur, who won gold at Manchester 2002.

"It's kind of put everybody in turmoil at the moment which is disappointing.”

But he felt Team Wales should have had a back-up plan, not just for Evans but for other fighters who had been forced to pull out.

He suggested Lynsey Holdaway could have stepped in for Ebbw Vale’s Ashley Brace, who was ruled ineligible for Glasgow because of her previous career as a kick boxer, and said Ricky Rowlands could have replaced Evans.

"We have enough boxers within Wales to be able to have reserves just in case," added Arthur.

"When I went to the Commonwealth Games in 2002, I wasn't a medal hopeful, but I went in there and I was fit, I was strong and I was ready and I came away with a gold medal.

"Anybody in a position like this on such a big stage has an opportunity and we should give the kids the opportunity."

The exclusion of Evans and Brace has added to a lengthy list of woes for Team Wales in the build up to Glasgow 2014, which gets under way with the opening ceremony tonight.

Abergavenny’s double world champion track cyclist Becky James was ruled out through injury and Wales have lost not one but two world champion triathletes in Non Stanford and Helen Jenkins.

And last week 800m runner Gareth Warburton was forced out of the Games due to an anti-doping violation.

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