The head coach of Switzerland's men's skiing team, Dieter Bartsch, is set to resign following the team's disappointing performance at the Winter Olympics.This content was published on February 22, 2002 - 20:18
Bartsch told Swiss television on Friday that he would offer his resignation if the team failed to win a single medal at the Games. With just one race left, in Switzerland's weakest slalom discipline, that is almost certain to be the case.
"It's a question of character," Bartsch insisted. "After such a performance I feel I have to tender my resignation. It's just not possible to go on making demands of other people while sitting pretty in my own seat."
Swiss ski "astonished"
In its first response to the comments, the Swiss skiing association said it was "astonished". The association pointed out that it had agreed to extend Bartsch's contract less than three weeks ago during the World Cup race weekend in St Moritz.
The association refused to say whether it would accept Bartsch's resignation although Bartsch himself seemed in no doubt.
"There's just no sense in it any more," said Bartsch, who has been in charge of the Swiss men for three years.
The 54-year-old Austrian also went on to suggest that the much-publicised rift between himself and Swiss Ski director Jean-Daniel Mudry had played a key part in his decision.
"I'm sure my offer to resign will be a great load off Mudry's mind," Bartsch reckoned. "The whole time we've been here (in Salt Lake City) I have heard from him just twice.
"At the start of the Games he came to Huntsville and forbade me from saying anything about the team's ski suits. The second time was after the giant slalom when he didn't get in touch with me until quarter past eleven at night. I didn't even know that he was at the giant slalom."
Swiss Ski officials said that Mudry had not been given an official mobile phone for the Games and was not available to comment.
swissinfo with agencies