Olympian Kim Collins sent home for missing practice, says he's being punished for visiting wife

Saint Kitts and Nevis's Kim Collins competes in the men's 100m round 1 heat 2 at the 2012 Diamond League athletics meet at Crystal Palace in London on July 13, 2012. ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/GettyImages

(CBS/AP) LONDON - Former 100-meter world champion Kim Collins was expelled by his team from the London Olympics on Saturday for missing training sessions. He said he was being punished for spending time with his wife.

The St. Kitts and Nevis team described him as a "national hero" in announcing the penalty.

Collins, the 2003 world champion, told The Associated Press that he showed up at the athletes village Saturday morning and found that his accreditation had been canceled, locking him out.

Collins was kept out of his scheduled start in the 100 heats on Saturday. He was also entered in the 200 and 4x100 relay. He was hoping to compete in his fifth straight Olympics and carried the St. Kitts and Nevis flag at the opening ceremony.

His absences included visits to see his wife, who arrived in London on Wednesday. Collins said he found the village stressful and spent time with his wife because she helped coach him, and he needed peace and quiet before racing.

"There was some contact between me and the federation, and I explained that I was not abandoning my wife," Collins said in a telephone interview. "I guess that was not approved."

Earlier Saturday, Collins had posted on his Twitter account:

Before his punishment was confirmed, Collins suggested that the 2011 Pan American Games, where he won silver in the 100, would be his final appearance for the Caribbean state.

"For those who saw me run in Mexico. That's the last time I represent my country," he wrote.

He then wrote:

Collins was an international star who will be "greatly missed by the whole nation," the team said.

"Mr. Collins' absence from London 2012 is a huge disappointment for the team and for the country, who will not witness their national hero perform at this largest global sports event," St. Kitts team manager Lester Hanley said in a statement. "We wish him well."

Collins is the second of what was a seven-athlete Olympic team from St. Kitts and Nevis to be disciplined. Sprinter Tameka Williams, the only woman on the team, was sent home last weekend for a drug violation.

The St. Kitts and Nevis Olympic Committee said Williams had acknowledged using a substance which was "clearly outside the medical code."

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