Sergey Ovchinnikov, the coach for Russia's women's volleyball team at the London Olympics has died, according to Reuters.
Yahoo! Eurosport reports that local media indicated that the 43-year-old was found hanged in his hotel room at his team's training camp. His predecessor Vladimir Kuzyutkin is claiming he committed suicide in a quote to a Russian media outlet.
"This is so stupid," former Russia coach Vladimir Kuzyutkin told the Russian News Service, via RT.com. "He was my friend, my colleague. No one said a bad word about him. Yes, there was a failure at the Olympics, but to hell with that. I don’t know why he couldn’t cope with it."
According to The Voice Of Russia, Kuzyutkin later denied that he gave any comments on his colleague's death in an interview with RIA Novisti. The Russian Volleyball Federation, meanwhile, initially announced only that Ovchinnikov has died at the Dynamo Moscow training base in Croatia. No cause of death was initially reported by the Associated Press.
Ovchinnikov was named head coach in December and helped lead the team in winning the Olympic qualification tournament in May, winning seven matches in a row. Russia was considered one of the favorites to win gold, but the women failed to get past the quarterfinals losing to Brazil, the eventual gold medal-winning team.
According to InsideTheGames.biz, the head coach of Russia's men's team, Vladimir Alekno, said Ovchinnikov took the loss "very personally."