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|August 23, 2000||
Russian coach loses shirt over star
"At the moment we have no superstars ... for whom I would drop to my knees and beg them to play," Yeryomin was quoted as saying by newspaper Izvestia after Mikhailov had missed the last two training camps.
The centre, who holds dual Russian and Spanish citizenship, indicated he wanted to play for Russia in Sydney but has yet to give Yeryomin a firm committment.
"I have nothing to comment on, you better ask that question to Mikhailov himself," the coach snapped when asked to explain the centre's latest absence.
"It would be interesting to know what he has to say."
But Yeryomin has kept the door open for Mikhailov.
"He still has a chance to be in the team. But with every delay that chance becomes smaller and smaller," he said.
Mikhailov's indecision is the latest blow to Russia's medal hopes in Sydney. The Russians, who finished runners-up at the 1998 world championship in Athens, are aiming for a top-three finish after missing the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
Last month captain Vasily Karasyov decided against playing, citing health problems, and centre Alexei Savrasenko, another player who holds two passports, refused to go to Sydney and risk losing his Greek citizenship.
Mail Sports Editor
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