Andy Murray Decides Not to Attend BBC Sports Personality of the Year Ceremony

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Andy Murray Decides Not to Attend BBC Sports Personality of the Year Ceremony
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He may be one of the hot favourites to win Britain's biggest individual sporting award, but Andy Murray won't be on hand to celebrate even if he wins the 2013 BBC Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY).

The Daily Mail's Mike Dickson reported on Tuesday that, as had been speculated earlier in the year, Murray will instead remain in Miami where he continues to recover from back surgery.

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The 10 contenders for this year's award, from top-left to bottom-left, clockwise: Sailor Sir Ben Ainslie, cricketer Ian Bell, paralympian Hannah Cockroft, runner Mo Farah, cyclist Chris Froome, golfer Justin Rose, athlete Christine Ohuruogu, Murray, jockey AP McCoy, British and Irish Lion Leigh Halfpenny

The 26-year-old's 2013 season was cut short thanks to his decision to attempt a solution on the lower-back issues that first became evident in 2012.

Dickson's report claims coach Ivan Lendl discussed with Murray the decision to abstain from a UK return for the SPOTY ceremony. The choice was made that rehabilitation for the upcoming 2014 season would be best served with Murray remaining in Florida.

An excerpt from the report reads:

He has been in Miami for more than three weeks and while there are said to have been a few setbacks, his programme has by and large been progressing well. Known as an obsessive with his work ethic, he feels it would be too disruptive to make the eleven-hour flight to Leeds, despite being heavy favourite to win the main award.

Instead, should Murray rank among the top contenders or go on to win the SPOTY award, he will receive any congratulations via satellite, as was the case when Lennox Lewis handed him the third-place runners-up prize behind Jessica Ennis-Hill, second, and winner Sir Bradley Wiggins last year.

That being said, the Times' Neil Harman was quick to point out that the BBC will not be looking for a repeat of last year's broadcast mishap, where an off-cue Lewis didn't do any justice to the hopes he may hold of one day going into television presenting.

Murray is bidding to become just the fifth-ever Scotsman to win the Sports Personality of the Year award. Ian Black, Jackie Stewart, Liz McColgan and, most recently, Sir Chris Hoy having all come before him.

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The Glaswegian will be all too aware of his own chances at winning this time around, considering the past 18 months have been the most fruitful of Murray's career.

As well as claiming a gold medal in the London 2012 Olympics men's singles and a silver medal alongside Laura Robson in the doubles, Murray of course clinched his maiden Wimbledon title in 2013, signifying an emotional coming of age for the tennis superstar.

This last year has been a massive occasion for British sport, but Murray's landmark triumph will surely see him named ahead of his rivals for the award.

It will certainly be a shame if Murray is to win this year's award and not be around to celebrate the victory, but it's to be seen as a positive sign that the star is so focused on his comeback that not even glory or congratulations of this pedigree can deter him from his goal.

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