Couldn’t take the insult anymore: Chertkov

first_imgVladimir Chertkov is back in India and he has nothing complimentary to say about the way the sport is run in the country.The foreign expert consultant with the Indian gymnastics team flew back in a huff after he was barred from participating in the opening ceremony of the Guangzhou Asian Games. The bone of contention apparently was the ceremonial dress code of the Indian contingent.Chertkov said the blazer and trousers provided to him did not fit him at all but the higher-ups in the delegation insisted that he had to wear the given attire if he wished to be a part of the ceremony. The tone and tenor of the officials also played a big role in the matter. “I couldn’t take it anymore.It feels very childish to talk about something like this, but I felt humiliated and insulted,” Chertkov told Mail Today after landing in the Capital on Saturday night.”The issue is much deeper. It is about the way athletes and coaches are treated in India by officials who know nothing about sports. Obviously, the Indian coaches cannot take the sort of step I took as they have much more to lose.”The American of Russian origin said there was no professionalism in the way issues were handled.”Our measurements are taken a week before our departure and the uniform arrives at the last moment. But the arms of my blazer reached just about my elbow while the trousers finished little below my knees.”I told the contingent officials about the problem but they said ‘take it or leave it.’ I have a blazer in a colour similar to the official dress and was ready to wear it with the Indian Olympic Association tie. But they would have none of it. The team manager told me in front of all the athletes and coaches that I could not attend. This is no way to treat someone who has brought the first medals in international competition.advertisement”Had I attended the ceremony in what was provided to me, I would have looked like a clown. It would have been an embarrassment and a joke. They would not even let me watch the ceremony from the stands. If they did not want me there, it was best that I came back,” Chertkov said.”It is a case of personal discrimination and the chef-demission is responsible for the situation.” The players knew about his decision to return. “I talked to the players before returning to India. I told them it is a personal matter which has upset me and I cannot stay. But they have to focus on their job and perform well.”And they did as for the first time in Asian Games history, we have an Indian in the final of an event (Ashish Kumar in the floor exercises). Who knows what can happen in the final?” Ashish had earlier done the country proud by winning the first medals in a major event with a silver and bronze at the Commonwealth Games.Nobody from the Gymnastics Federation of India (GFI) has got in touch with Chertkov since he touched down in Delhi.Like other foreign coaches in various sports, Chertkov’s contract expires on November 30 and whether it will be extended after his walkout from Guangzhou is anybody’s guess.”Nobody has talked to me about it. I have certain ambitions. If the sports ministry agrees to my suggestions and the terms of contracts are favourable, I can stay back. “I get several phone calls daily asking me to not to leave. Otherwise, I have no reason to stay. I have offers from elsewhere.”The huge team of officials that goes to major sporting events also drew a sarcastic response from Chertkov.”It looks like a tourist group. Most of them know nothing about sports but still dictate what athletes and coaches should do. The whole system is outdated and needs to be changed. But I am a foreigner and can only provide my observations.”When contacted, GFI general secretary Kan Singh Rathore said they were waiting for an official report. “We came to know that he has come back. But we need the report from team manager Satpal Kaur before deciding on a course of action. It should arrive in one or two days,” Rathore told Mail Today from Jodhpur.last_img read more