With ‘zero communication’ from the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) regarding the renewal of his contract as chief coach of 50m rifle 3 positions, Olympian Joydeep Karmakar decided to put in his papers earlier this month.
“I mailed my resignation on June 10. There was a lot of backbiting and politics. It was becoming toxic, I could realise. My contract expired on March 31, but is it wrong to expect an official message from the federation? Even if there is a problem, there should be a show-cause notice.” Karmakar, whose services NRAI originally acquired for three years in 2022, tells Sportstar.
An unprecedented 11 medals and one Olympic quota was won over six ISSF competitions during Karmakar’s tenure. “The relation between myself and the shooters has been the best, and I was lucky to have a bunch of such talents,” Karmakar says.
Karmakar is the third shooting coach to tender his resignation in under a month. In May, India’s trap coach Russell Mark and his wife and skeet coach Lauryn had also quit citing delay in contract renewal and growing displeasure with NRAI-appointed High Performance Director, Dr. Pierre Beauchamp. Things had come to a head when Lauryn was apparently asked to justify her role as High Performance Manager.
Notably, Karmakar too had a public fallout with Beauchamp during the Cairo World Championship last year. Owing to a difference of opinion over which coach would accompany an athlete in the final hall, Beauchamp was said to have ‘pushed and shoved’ the Indian coach. “He cursed and used the F-word in front of everybody. But to be fair, he had apologised to me at the airport later,” Karmakar says.
It is understood that there is one more foreign coach who has supposedly raised her voice against the functioning of Beauchamp’s team.
“The current ecosystem isn’t very conducive to the growth of shooting. I hope things change soon. If these continue, we will be in big trouble ahead of the Paris Olympics,” Karmakar raises concern.
He has been replaced by Navy shooter Manoj Kumar, who has taken over since the Baku World Cup.
There was another unpleasant episode when a picture of Karmakar having a conversation with then International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) presidential candidate Luciano Rossi was circulated among NRAI officials last year.
Karmakar said, “People suspected I was discussing politics with him, when it was just an exchange of pleasantries. I was meeting him for the first time and the conversation didn’t last for more than a few minutes.”
India had voted against Rossi, the current ISSF president, at the General Assembly on November 30, 2022.
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