The two-time national champion was found unconscious and severely dehydrated early Friday morning, U.S. coach Dan Campbell said. Russell's roommate, light flyweight Luis Yanez, alerted the American coaches shortly after Russell returned from a run in a final effort to reach his 119-pound weight limit.
Medical personnel at the athletes' village rehydrated Russell. The 20-year-old boxer wasn't hospitalized and rested Friday, unable to participate with his teammates in the pre-Olympic weigh-in.
"We became alarmed a couple of days ago when we saw he wasn't sweating like he should," Campbell said after Friday's draw. "When these kids try to make weight, sometimes they cut corners. What we believe is he did not increase his fluid intake after we told him to."
Russell's weight problems weren't terribly surprising, considering he hadn't competed at 119 pounds since the world championships in Chicago last fall. He has weighed 125 pounds or more in every test event and dual meet since, but Campbell and Russell both thought the fighter would be able to make weight in Beijing.
Russell is the second high-profile boxer to drop out of the Beijing Games with weight-limit issues. British lightweight Frankie Gavin didn't even attempt to make weight, ruling himself out of the Olympics on Thursday after several months of struggles.