Illness has forced Paul Biedermann, world record holder from Halle in Germany, to call a halt to his 2013 season and 2013 world titles campaign.
Announcing his withdrawal from the German world-title trials and championships at the end of this month, the 26-year-old revealed that he suffered a viral infection that kept him from intense training for the past two months.
"Unfortunately, an infection has allowed no optimum training during the last two months," he said in a statement. "Such a long period without training is not comething you can catch up with so easily."
Biedermann was among the many who caught severe 'flu-like viruses in Europe in the midst of a particularly harsh winter. Since January, he has cancelled a training camp in Tenerife and told organisers of a meet this weekend that he would not be able to attend.
He and Halle coach Frank Embacher have now set their sights on the 2014 European Championships in Berlin as their next big goal.
World Champion and record setter at the 2009 world championships dominated by suits debate during eight days of racing that produced a farcical 42 world records and unfolded after a decision had been taken to ban bodysuits and booster non-textile materials, Biedermann stood tall two years later in Shanghai when he claimed bronze in both his main events. His world 200 and 400m free marks remain at 1:42.00 and 3:40.07, from Rome 2009.