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Europe throws Martin out of the Ryder Cup team

London, 2nd September - Miguel Angel Martin has been deprived of his place in the Ryder Cup team because he refused to play in a fitness test at Valderamma on Wednesday. His place has been given to Jose Maria Olazabal who finished 11th in the Ryder Cup points table.

A spokesman for the Ryder Cup Committee said that Martin, who had not played golf since July 18th because of wrist injury had refused to play 18 holes of golf requested by the committee.

Martin informed the committee he did not think it "necessary or convenient" in his recuperation to play 18 holes at Valdermma on Wednesday.

The committee and the team captain, Seve Ballesteros, agree that even if Martin had been fit in time he could not be competitive at Ryder Cup level in time for the matches that take place in three weeks time

"Following close consultation between the Ryder Cup committee and Seve Ballesteros Martin had been informed that he would be replaced," the spokesman said.

The other two members of the team will be announced by Seve on Thursday at Crans-sur-Sierre, Switzerland

Martin reacted strongly against the decision. "It's wrong, a very, very, silly decision. I'm going straight away to my lawyers. I'm going to fight this as hard as I can. The Ryder Cup is in Spain for the first time and I am not going to say that this is okay. Seve, I think wants me to play on the team. I am positive about that, I dont know what the Americans are going to think about this."

Ken Schofield, the executive director of the PGA European Tour, announced on Sunday that Martin would have to undergo a fitness test at a course in Madrid. But yesterday morning, by fax, Martin was informed he was required to play 18 holes at Valderrama, venue for the match on September 26-28. Present would be an English sports medicine doctor and representatives of the Ryder Cup Committee and the Spanish Federation.

"I answered the committee that I am not going to be there," Martin said. "I can't play 18 holes properly at this time." Martin's physiotherapists did not want him to go, either. "They say, 'no, no, no, if you go there we will stop doing things that are very important'.

"They are doing things every day for my wrist and my recovery would be harmed by hitting shots now. That's what I want to avoid. I want to get fit -- for the Ryder Cup, if possible, but if not for that then for the next tournament, or for next year or forever. I don't want to do any damage."

"I don't want to withdraw," he added,. "This is my spot and I am going to be there if I can."