German ‘drug cheat’ eyes Bangladesh role

Staff Correspondent

Bangladesh Hockey Federation is all set to interview controversial German coach Oliver Kurtz for the national team, officials said.
Kurtz, an Olympic gold medalist, who was once tested positive for taking cocaine, was scheduled to arrive on Saturday with an eye on the job.
The Bangladesh Hockey Federation, who has been searching for a head coach for quite some time, invited the German to face the interview after South African Giles Bonnet had turned down their offer for security reasons.
The 44-year Kurtz won gold medal with German national team in 1992 summer Olympic Games in Barcelona but was tested positive for benzoylecgonine, a metabolic of cocaine at the Atlanta Challenge Cup in August 1995.
He was banned by the International Hockey Federation for two years in 1995 for taking cocaine.
After serving the suspension, Kurtz, made his future into coaching and already served Bangladesh national team as its assistant under former German head coach Gerhard Peter in 2009 and 2010.
Then Kurtz took charge of the Oman national hockey team but recently he was sacked from the post for team’s poor performance.
Mamun-Ur-Rashid, a former national player and a member of the BHF, believes that BHF will consider Kurtz’s tainted past before appointing him.
‘As per my knowledge, Oman team’s performance declined under Kurtz’s guidance,’ said Mamun on Saturday.
‘He also has a bad past during his playing career as he was suspended from international hockey for two years for testing positive.
‘I think BHF should appoint a coach who has a good record both on and off the field.
‘Once we [BHF] all but finalised an Indian coach [Ajay Kumar Bansal] for the national team but we later changed our decision considering a sexual harassment allegation against him.
‘Therefore, we didn’t appoint the Indian coach and I wonder why we are going to appoint a drug cheat!’ questioned Mamun.
BHF’s vice-president and chairman of the coaching committee, Shafiullah Al Munir said they will consider all the things before taking the final decision.
‘We didn’t know about his past before,’ said Munir adding that,
‘We will discuss the matter in the meeting and will consider all the issues before appointing a foreign coach for the national team.’

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