Wladimir Klitschko's hopes of boxing at the 2016 Olympic Games have been dealt a blow.
The undisputed world heavyweight champion failed to get permission to take part in Ukraine’s qualifying competition.
The executive board of the Ukrainian boxing federation have never given permission to either Klitschko or his older brother Vitali to take part in qualifying for the Games in Rio de Janeiro.
This means Wladimir has missed the deadline, according to the R-Sport news agency.
"The possibility of the participation of the Klitschko brothers in Olympic qualifying as professionals is something that has never been examined," the federation’s press service stated.
It comes as a blow to the 38-year-old, who had earlier been quoted by the Interfax-Ukraine news agency as saying: "I hope that international amateur boxing's ruling body will be kind to me, and that I will have enough health and motivation to perform at the Olympics in two years time."
The 38-year-old, who won gold at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, said he had spoken to his former coach, Emanuel Steward, during the 2012 London Games and that Steward had encouraged him to box again in Rio. Steward died in October 2012.
"It was our joint dream and I hope I will be able to fulfil it," Klitschko said. "I already have an Olympic title and it would be terrific to repeat this experience 20 years later."
Klitschko, who has lived in Germany since the 1990s, had an opportunity to take German citizenship and represent the country at the Olympics but he also failed to inform Germany's boxing association about his intentions in time.
"Unfortunately Klitschko has failed to meet the demands … He missed the opportunity to inform Germany's boxing association in time about his intention to represent our country at the Games," Germany's amateur boxing chief Jurgen Kyas said on Monday.
"His participation in the Games could be very useful for amateur boxing but we should observe the rules," he added.
Klitschko retained his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO belts in Oberhausen, Germany, when he knocked out Australian challenger Alex in the fifth round last weekend. It was his 25th “world” title fight. Tags: Wladimir Klitschko