Berlin - World 200m and 400m freestyle record-holder Paul Biedermann will miss the world swimming championships, which start Saturday, despite recovering from a series of illnesses.
The 26-year-old, who set both records at the 2009 world championships, has struggled with an infection this year and will not be in Barcelona for the duration of the fortnight-long event, his management has said.
Although his girlfriend Britta Steffen, the Olympic 50m and 100m freestyle champion at Beijing 2008, will be racing in Spain, Biedermann will stay in Germany to work on his fitness.
Having contracted flu at the start of February, which resulted in a two-week training break, Biedermann then suffered with a glandular-fever type illness which led to a prolonged break from the pool.
"It was time to take a break, regroup and regenerate," Biedermann's coach Frank Embacher told magazine Swim after the German struggled with illness since finishing fifth in the 200m freestyle final at the 2012 Olympics.
Biedermann has stayed mostly silent on his sabbatical from swimming and has only said: "I feel well and I look forward to the coming competitions this winter".