An Olympic star was sent home for spending the night with his wife.
St. Kitts and Nevis axed sprinter Kim Collins, 36, from the 100 meter on Saturday for leaving the athletes’ village. Lane four remained empty during the race. Collins, a “national hero” who was supposed to occupy that space, turned to social media to vent his outrage.
“This can’t be right,” he tweeted. “Olympic number 5 and no Kim Collins.”
He was set to run the 100 meters in his fifth Olympics. He even carried the St. Kitts and Nevis flag at the opening ceremony this year. But when he left the athletes’ village to visit his wife at a hotel, his team looked past his enthusiasm to their rulebook.
His team’s committee forbade him from running the 100 meters. Collins won the world title for that event in 2003. Also entered in he 200 meter and 4×100 meter relay, Collins was sent home, according to The Associated Press.
“Mr. Collins departure is down to his repeated absences from training sessions and also for refusing to respond to repeated phone calls and emails by team manager and coaches,” his team’s committee said in a statement.
Collins feels that he should be able to stay with his wife with or without their permission. “They’re asking me to abandon my wife for the team. It’s not going to happen,” Collins told the BBC.
St. Kitts and Nevis only had six athletes in the London Games before they dropped Collins. They arrived in London with seven but another sprinter, Tameka Williams, had already been forced to leave the Games for potentially breeching drug rules, even though she tested negative for prohibited substances.
Collins turned to Facebook to express his frustration, according to Gawker. “Hours before my 5th 100m olympic race,” Collins wrote, “i now find out i cant run,all because i was in a hotel with my wife/coach. S.K.N.O.C REALLY? Are you freakig kiddin me!!!!!!!!”
He followed the Facebook post with that series of angry tweets.
Collins left the Olympic Village because he found it difficult to concentrate on his goal there, reported the BBC.
“I needed to get away, to focus,” he said, “because this is the last best chance I would have of a medal.” Collins will not get that chance this time.