World marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe admitted on Wednesday that she may never take part in a competitive race again because of ongoing complications with her foot injury.
Radcliffe, who set the women's world record with a time of 2:15.25 during the 2003 London Marathon, was forced to pull out of the 2012 Olympics shortly before the London Games after specialist treatment in Germany failed to cure the foot problem.
The 39-year-old, a gold medallist at the 2005 World Championships and 2002 Commonwealth Games, then underwent surgery in August when it emerged her injury was more serious than first thought.
At that point Radcliffe still retained hopes of participating in a 10-kilometre race, as well as the 2014 London Marathon, but now, with her injury problems persisting, she concedes she may never be able to return to the sport.
"Targets have gone out of the window," Radcliffe told BBC Sport.
"I'm very much in that limbo where I know and accept that realistically it may not be possible.
"But at the same time I have a little window of hope and I would rather be able to finish my career in a race, rather than a race I can't actually get to the start line of."