Alpine Skiing - Austrian Reichelt ruled out of Olympics

Austria's Hannes Reichelt was forced out of the Winter Olympics on Monday because of a serious spinal disc injury, only two days after winning the sport's most prestigious World Cup event, the Austrian team said.

Austrian men's team chief trainer Matthias Berthold told reporters that an MRI test taken to determine the reasons of a lingering spinal pain indicated that an immediate operation was necessary, ending the season of the winner of the classic Klitzbuehel downhill on Saturday.

"Health comes first and I still want to do sports once my career is over. Unfortunately the dream of Olympic Games is now also over," said Reichelt on the Austrian Ski Team's website.

Reichelt became the first Austrian since 2006 to win the Hahnenkamm classic and was one of the favourites for next month's Olympic downhill in Sochi.