BUDAPEST (REUTERS) - Seven-times Olympic gold medallist Caeleb Dressel has withdrawn from the rest of the world championships after pulling out of his 100m title defence for medical reasons.
American Dressel, also defending world champion in 50 and 100m butterfly as well as 50 freestyle, had been set for a showdown with emerging talent David Popovici of Romania who is now favourite in the 100m freestyle.
"After conferring with Caeleb, his coaches and the medical staff, a decision has been made to withdraw him from the Fina World Championships," USA Swimming said in a statement on Wednesday (June 22).
"Our priority is and will always be the health of our athletes and we will continue to give Caeleb the assistance he needs to recover quickly."
Dressel, who pulled out of his 100m freestyle semi-final on Tuesday, picked up two gold medals at the Duna Arena, leading off the men's 4x100m freestyle relay on Saturday and repeating as 50m fly world champion on Sunday.