Former Indian athletics coach Yuri Ogorodnik, who was sacked for his alleged involvement in the infamous 2011 dope scandal, has died at his native place in Ukraine, the national federation said on Tuesday. He was 84.
He was associated with Indian athletics for nearly two decades since the early 2000s, training the Indian athletes during his multiple stints. The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) condoled his death in Kharkiv on Monday. AFI President Adille Sumariwalla described Ogorodnik as a friend of Indian athletics who played a role in its evolution. “I am sad that we have lost a friend of Indian athletics. He made a difference with his approach to training and preparation for competition," Sumariwalla said.
Ogorodnik was booted out in July 2011 after six top Indian athletes, including 2010 Commonwealth and Asian Games 4x400m relay gold-winning team members Ashwini Akkunji, Sini Jose and Mandeep Kaur, tested positive for a banned steroid. He was brought back as coach in 2015 to train the Indian athletes for the 2016 Olympics, after which he left the country for good.