French judo great Teddy Riner said Monday he has been forced to pull out of the world championships next month because of an ankle injury.
The 10-time world champion and three-time Olympic gold medallist picked up the injury during a training camp in Rabat in August, and will not be fit in time for the worlds in Tashkent from October 6 to 13.
"Alas, I feared it, but the medical examinations taken today have confirmed that I will not be able to resume judo for a few weeks, which therefore excludes my participation in the next World Championships in Tashkent," Riner wrote on Twitter.
Riner has his sights set on his home Olympic Games in 2024, where the 33-year-old dreams of winning one last gold.
"Two years from the Olympic Games, I can't take any risks," he added, targeting the 2023 world championships in Qatar next May.
Riner holds the most world titles in the history of the sport. He had to settle for bronze in the Tokyo Olympics a year ago but managed to help France to team gold.
He has not participated in a world championship since 2017. In July he returned after a post-Olympic break with victory in the Grand Slam Judo Championship in Hungary.