CANBERRA, July 26. TO absolutely no one's surprise, controversial swimming coach Gennadi Touretski was fired today by the Australian Sports Commission (ASC). The sacking comes seven weeks after an "air rage" incident on an aircraft, first reported on SwimInfo.com.
The ASC said the reputation of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), which is run by the ASC, depended on its representatives exhibiting high standards of personal behavior.
The 52-year-old coach, who has worked at the AIS since 1992, has guided several of the world's top swimmers, most notably Russian Olympic gold medalist Alexander Popov and Australian world champion Michael Klim.
"The contracted company, in its provision of services by Mr. Touretski to the institute, has not met those standards," ASC chief executive Mark Peters said in a statement today.
"The incident involving Mr Touretski on an international flight last month has resulted in the ASC determining the provisions of the contract for his employment can no longer met," he said.
"Accordingly, the company and Mr. Touretski were advised today that the Sports Commission was terminating the contract."
Moscow-born Touretski had been withdrawn from the Australian Commonwealth Games team after the incident on a flight from Singapore to Sydney on June 6.
Touretski was involved in another air rage incident in 1995 while traveling with the Australian team to the United States for the Pan Pacs ,and he had received a warning from the AIS after the latest incident. In the '95 incident, a flight from Sydney to Los Angeles was diverted to Honolulu after Touretski, allegedly intoxicated, reportedly bit a flight attendant. Touretski spent a month in a Honolulu jail.
There has been speculation recently in the Australian media that Touyretski might leave Australia to coach in Europe. While that is a possibility, SwimInfo has learned that a more likely possibility is that Touretski will move north to the Gold Coast to start his own team in those warmer climes.