American gymnast Paul Hamm has announced that he will not be able to compete at the Beijing Olympics and defend his men's all-around title.
Hamm officially notified USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee on Monday that he is withdrawing from the team.  He said his right hand, which he broke at the national championships in May, had not healed enough for him to compete.

Hamm also hurt his rotator cuff in an accelerated recovery effort designed to get him ready for the Beijing Games.  The 25-year-old Hamm decided it would be better for the team to take a fully healthy gymnast to Beijing in his place.

The loss is a blow to the American squad's medal hopes.  Hamm had been expected to participate in all six events in team qualifying and probably all six in the team finals as well.  One of three alternates will take Hamm's spot in Beijing. 

Some information for this report was provided by AP.