Yuri Ogorodnik, the Ukraine-born athletics coach, whose contract was terminated after the women’s 4×400 relay team tested positive for banned substances in 2011 will join the national camp in Patiala in a day or two. Ogorodnik was in the capital on Tuesday to complete his paperwork.
“Yuri has arrived in India. He will join the national camp shortly. Currently, the camp is being held in Patiala but because of the summer heat we may shift it to a cooler place. But Yuri will be part of the camp,” Athletics Federation of India (AFI) president Adille Sumariwala confirmed on Tuesday.
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Efforts have been on to hire the services of Ogorodnik, 77, once again since the start of the year but the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and the Sports Authority of India were skeptical because of his association with the 4×400 relay team which tested positive.
However, the AFI was keen on pushing for Ogorodnik’s return because he had been training Indian teams since the early 2000s. Moreover, the AFI believed that he was a ‘proven coach’.
In March, the sports ministry concluded that his dismissal nearly four years ago, in the light of the dope scandal, was a black mark and hence decided not to hand him a new contract.
Yet, his name was cleared after multiple assurances were sought and received that Ogorodnik was not currently banned from coaching and that he was not indicted by the National Anti-Doping Agency.