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St Kitts champion sprinter sent home


LONDON — Former 100m world champion Kim Collins was expelled by his team from the London Olympics on Saturday for missing training sessions. He said he was being punished for spending time with his wife.

The St Kitts and Nevis team described him as a “national hero” in announcing the penalty. Collins, the 2003 world champion, said he showed up at the athletes’ village Saturday morning and found that his accreditation had been cancelled, locking him out.

Collins was kept out of his scheduled start in the 100 heats on Saturday. He was also entered in the 200 and 4×100 relay. He was hoping to compete in his fifth straight Olympics and carried the St Kitts and Nevis flag at the Opening Ceremony.

His absences included visits to see his wife, who arrived in London on Wednesday.

Collins said he found the village stressful and spent time with his wife because she helped coach him, and he needed peace and quiet before racing.

“There was some contact between me and the federation, and I explained that I was not abandoning my wife,” Collins said in a telephone interview.

“I guess that was not approved.” Earlier Saturday, Collins posted on his Twitter account that “Even men in prison get their wives to visit.”

Before his punishment was confirmed, Collins said that the 2011 Pan–American Games, where he won silver in the 100, would be his final appearance for the Caribbean state.

“For those who saw me run in Mexico. That’s the last time I represent my country,”he wrote.
Collins was an international star who will be “greatly missed by the whole nation,” the team said.

Collins is the second of what was a seven-athlete Olympic team from St Kitts and Nevis to be disciplined.

Sprinter Tameka Williams, the only woman on the team, was sent home last weekend for a drug violation.

Williams had acknowledged using a substance outside the medical code.

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