"First, you give me an ill-fitting uniform, and on top of that, an official uses foul language and bars you from joining the team, I just can't take it," said a peeved India gymnastics team's foreign coach, Vladimir Chertkov.
The American was barred from participating in the opening ceremony of the Games by chef-de-mission, Abhay Chautala, after officials deemed him unfit to be part of the contingent, citing his improper clothing. The incident infuriated Chertkov, who took the first flight out of China on Saturday.
According to the coach, who helped the country win its first medal at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) provided him with a set of uniform but their poor fitting forced him to opt for something similar to the dress. "The trousers were tight, the size of the blazer was too small," said Chertkov. "So, I wore my formals that resembled the official uniform, complete with an IOA tie."
When asked if that was the reason behind his return to India, Chertkov said he was upset by Chautala's conduct. "He laughed in my face and asked me to 'go away' as we were about to board the team bus. Also, he didn't come to me directly but went to my team and badmouthed me. Is this how India treat their national coach?" asked an incensed Chertkov.
The American is also upset at the way the Gymnastics Federation of India (GFI) has been handling the sport. "I was angry about the selection of Satpal Kalsi as the team manager. He is the personal secretary to the GFI president, Jaspal Singh Kandhari, and by no means is he qualified to be manager of a national team."
When Hindustan Times asked Kandhari if the federation would continue with Chertkov, he said, "Chertkov is contracted to the Sports Authority of India, which will expire shortly. I don't think we will continue with him."
Chertkov's contract expires on November 31. He joined the national team in August 2009.