Sochi winner Podladtchikov out of Pyeongchang with brain injury

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (Reuters) - Swiss snowboarder Iouri Podladtchikov will not be able to defend his Olympic halfpipe title in Pyeongchang due to a brain injury suffered at the Winter X Games last month.

Podladtchikov won halfpipe gold at Sochi four years ago and, despite suffering a head injury and nasal fracture during the fall in Apsen, he had hoped to compete this time around in Pyeongchang.

SEE ALSO: PyeongChang Olympics opening ceremony offers pageantry, politics

The Swiss posted a picture on his Instagram account of himself at Pyeongchang's Phoenix Snow Park on Friday morning but, after training on the slope and further tests to determine the extent of the injury, Podladtchikov decided to pull out.

"When I received this diagnosis, it was clear to me that I had sustained a serious and dangerous injury and that participating in the Olympic Games would pose a great risk to my health," the 29-year-old said in a statement released by the Swiss ski federation.

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Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics ? Opening ceremony ? Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium - Pyeongchang, South Korea ? February 9, 2018 - North Korea's supporters cheer before the start the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics ? Opening ceremony ? Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium - Pyeongchang, South Korea ? February 9, 2018 - People practice their part in the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Korean performers demonstrate martial arts during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Fireworks explode during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Fireworks explode outside the stadium during the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Pyeongchang Stadium on February 9, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / JUNG Yeon-Je (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: White Tiger & Five Kids perform during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Performers entertain the fans during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Bongarts/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Fireworks explode during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Dancers perform 'The Land of Peace' segment during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Performers entertain the fans during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Actors perform during the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Pyeongchang Stadium on February 9, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV (Photo credit should read KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)
Participants perform during the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Pyeongchang Stadium on February 9, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Jonathan NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Fireworks are seen during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: President Moon Jai-in of South Korea and IOC President Thomas Bach wave during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Performers entertain the fans during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics ? Opening ceremony ? Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium - Pyeongchang, South Korea ? February 9, 2018 - Performers take part in the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini
Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics ? Opening Ceremony ? Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium- Pyeongchang, South Korea ? February 9, 2018 - General view of performers before the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Phil Noble
Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics ? Opening ceremony ? Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium- Pyeongchang, South Korea ? February 9, 2018 - Cheerleaders of North Korea await the start of the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics ? Opening ceremony ? Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium - Pyeongchang, South Korea ? February 9, 2018 - Martial artists perform before the start the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics ? Opening ceremony ? Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium - Pyeongchang, South Korea ? February 9, 2018 - Cheerleaders of North Korea await the start of the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Korean performers demonstrate martial arts during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
Members of the North Korean cheering band wave flags ahead of the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Pyeongchang Stadium on February 9, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / POOL AND AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Dancers perform during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics ? Opening ceremony ? Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium - Pyeongchang, South Korea ? February 9, 2018 - Performers take part in the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics ? Opening ceremony ? Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium- Pyeongchang, South Korea ? February 9, 2018 - Opening ceremony. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: The South Korean flag 'Taegeukgi' is seen during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Dancers perform 'The Land of Peace' segment during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Actors perform during the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Pyeongchang Stadium on February 9, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Entertainers perform during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Beau-James Wells of New Zealand during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: The South Korean flag is carried during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Eric Frenzel of Germany leads the team during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Samer Tawk of Lebanon leads the team during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Beau-James Wells of New Zealand and teammates enter the stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Dancers perform during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: The athletes from Denmark led by Flag bearer Elena Moller Rigas of Denmark walk out during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
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PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Mattheiu Osch of Luxembourg leads the team during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Daumants Dreiskens of Latvia and teammates enter the stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
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PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Mattheiu Osch of Luxembourg and teammates enter the stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
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PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Julian Yee of Malaysia leads the team during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Ngozi Onwumere of Nigeria leads the team during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Erin Hamlin of the United States and teammates enter the stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
Liechtensteins flagbearer Marco Pfiffner leads the delegation as they parade during the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Pyeongchang Stadium on February 9, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Roberto SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Jan Smeekens of the Netherlands and teammates enter the stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Akwasi Frimpong of Ghana and teammates enter the stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Connor Wilson of South Africa and teammates enter the stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
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PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Lucas Eguibar of Spain leads out his country during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Mattheiu Osch of Luxembourg leads his country during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Shiva Keshavan of India during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Pita Taufatofua of Tonga and teammates enter the stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Cheyenne Goh of Singapore and teammates enter the stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Sebastiano Gastaldi of Argentina and teammates enter the stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA FEBRUARY 9, 2018: Freestyle Alla Tsuper of Belarus carries the national flag during the Parade of Nations at the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium. Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images)
Monacos flagbearer Rudy Rinaldi delegation parades during the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Pyeongchang Stadium on February 9, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Odd ANDERSEN (Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Albin Tahiri of Kosovo leads the team during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Marco Pfiffner of Liechtenstein leads the team during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Henrik von Appen of Chile leads the team during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer Achbadrakh Batmunkh of Mongolia leads the team during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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"After all the tests that I have had on the way to the present day in the last two weeks - including my first practice this Friday - I can say for sure that starting and participating in the Olympic Games is in no way safe and responsible."

Podladtchikov will return to Switzerland on Saturday, the statement added.

(Reporting by Mitch Phillips; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

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