Hayley Yelling has been forced to pull out of the Virgin London Marathon on 17 April after she tore her calf in training yesterday.

The double European cross country champion was preparing to make her marathon debut at the race next Sunday alongside her sister-in-law Liz Yelling and fellow British international Jo Pavey.

She had hopes of qualifying for Britain's World Championships team this August and of competing in the London 2012 Olympic marathon next summer. But this latest blow for the 37-year-old, who has already come out of retirement once, is likely to cast doubt on her future.

Yelling first quit the sport in 2008 but made a triumphant return in December 2009 in Dublin where she regained the European cross country title she had first won in 2004.

She has represented Britain at six World Cross County Championships, and was fifth at the Great North Run in 2007, but she never qualified for an Olympic Games. She missed out on the 10,000m qualification standard for Athens 2004 by just 0.14 seconds.