Former Olympic champ barred from competing for Cuba

Havana: Cuban hurdler Dayron Robles, who won the gold medal in the 110-metre hurdles at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and set a world record, has been barred from representing his nation at any international competition due to a lack of discipline and ethics, the National Athletics Federation announced.

"Cuba did not support nor did it authorise Dayron to compete, due to a problem of discipline and sporting ethics," said federation president Alberto Juantorena Friday, according to the online edition of the weekly Trabajadores (Workers).

Robles "lost his status to represent Cuba, and it was reported to the Council of the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF)", Juantorena said.

Juantorena defended Cuba`s move, saying it is "against the great powers stealing athletes from underdeveloped countries".

Robles, 26, who apparently initiated the split, announced in January that he was leaving the federation, and competed two weeks ago at the Primo Nebiolo Memorial meet in Turin, Italy, "as an independent", where he came in sixth with a time of 13.82 seconds. American Omoghan Osaghae won the race in 13.49.

The world record holder could decide to adopt the citizenship of another country, but would have to wait two years before competing under a new flag.