ANDREW Butchart, the Scottish distance runner who finished sixth in the Olympic 5,000m in Rio, has been forced to withdraw from April’s Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast with a broken foot. Butchart, the boyfriend of athlete Lynsey Sharp, raced over 3000m at the Millrose Games in New York on February 3 but suffered a fractured navicular bone in his right foot during that race and an MRI scan in Boston revealed the extent of the problem.

He is joined on the list of track and field withdrawals from Team Scotland by pole vaulter Jax Thoirs and high jumper Emma Nuttall. Thoirs had opened the Indoor Season with a good clearance before a blood clot issue affected his health and he is now to have surgery on a rib which will ensure he would not be ready for Gold Coast. Nuttall was nursing a knee injury early in the New Year but further diagnosis confirmed tendinopathy in her left knee and training and competition had to be put on hold until early in the summer season – with the Gold Coast 2018 in early April coming just too soon. Any additions or replacements for Gold Coast 2018 will be announced in due course.

“With 500m to go during my 3000m race at the Millrose Games last weekend I felt a sharp pain in my right foot,” Butchart posted on Instagram. “I knew what it was straight away and after an MRI in Boston it was confirmed - fractured navicular in the right foot.

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“I am heartbroken to miss Gold Coast 2018! It definitely sucks and I won’t be racing for a while... but I’m going to come back faster, fitter and stronger than ever! Good luck to all with Team Scotland in Australia.”

Jon Doig OBE, Team Scotland Chef de Mission commented: “Sincere commiserations to Andy, Jax and Emma. I know just how much they were all looking forward to representing Team Scotland at Gold Coast 2018 and to succumb to injury at this late stage is a huge blow.

“We wish them all a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing them back in action later in the season. “Despite their own personal disappointment I am sure they will be cheering on their team mates when the Games get underway in just over 50 days-time.”