By Nick Butler at the Main Press Centre in Glasgow

European champion Rhys Williams has become the second Welshman to withdraw from Glasgow 2014 on a doping charge ©Getty ImagesA crisis surrounding the Welsh squad at Glasgow 2014 has deepened after Rhys Williams, one of the team's biggest hopes for an athletics medal, withdrew from the Commonwealth Games after being charged with an anti-doping violation.

This follows the suspension handed out last week to 800 metres runner Gareth Warburton - who like Williams, competed at the London 2012 Olympic Games - for a similar offence.
The squad has also been rocked by a number of other withdrawals and problems in recent weeks. 

But the allegation against Williams, the 2012 European 400m hurdles champion who also won a Commonwealth Games bronze medal behind compatriot Dai Greene at Delhi 2010, is the most serious problem yet, partly because he is the co-captain of the team.

His withdrawal was confirmed by a Team Wales statement this morning that said the suspension followed a test at the Glasgow Grand Prix on July 11.

The 30-year-old, who is the son of former Wales and Lions rugby player JJ Williams, has the opportunity to respond to the charges against him, and to have those charges determined at a full hearing before the National Anti-Doping Panel.

Rhys Williams had been due to compete alongside defending champion Dai Greene in a bid for two Welsh medals in Glasgow ©AFP/Getty ImagesRhys Williams had been due to compete alongside defending champion Dai Greene in a bid for two Welsh medals in Glasgow ©AFP/Getty Images

Writing on his personal website, Williams claimed to be "utterly devastated about the news of this anti-doping rule violation, which has come as a great shock". 

"From the outset, I would strongly like to state that I have not knowingly taken any banned substance," he added.

"As a professional athlete, I have always supported and have been an advocate of clean sport.

"However, I recognise that the responsibility for this situation lies with me and I'm committed to working with UK Anti-Doping and will fully cooperate in the legal process.

"I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all the best to my team mates at the Commonwealth Games, to be named co-team captain for the Welsh athletics team was a great honour and I am distraught that I won't be able to fulfil this role and join them as part of Team Wales.

"I wish them all well."

Beyond this statement, Concept Sports Management, the company which represents Williams as well as Gareth Warburton, has refused to comment further at this stage when contacted by insidethegames this afternoon.

They also refused to draw a parallel between the two cases. 

Gareth Warburton withdrew last week for a similar offence ©Getty ImagesGareth Warburton withdrew last week for a similar offence ©Getty Images

It remain possible that he tested positive as a result of taking a product supplied by "Mountain Fuel", who manufacture supplements he uses, and also sponsor Gareth Warburton.

The company are cooperating with Williams to see if anything he took is contaminated, but remain confident that it is nothing to do with them. 

Interestingly, all references to either Williams or Warburton's sponsorship deal with Mountain Fuel appear to have been removed from the company's website and Facebook page.

As well as everything else, the news is a further blow for Welsh medal hopes, following the withdrawal of a number of key athletes, including the reigning and two-time former triathlon world champions, Non Stanford and Helen Jenkins respectively, as well as sprint cycling prodigy, Becky James.

Earlier this week, the team also lost Olympic silver medal-winning boxer Fred Evans, after his accreditation was controversially denied following an investigation by Home Office and Commonwealth Games officials.

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