David John resigns as Hockey India's high performance director

India prepare to defend a penalty corner against world champions Belgium during their Pro League match in Bhubaneswar on February 9, 2020. Hockey India

Days after his contract was renewed, Hockey India's high performance director David John has resigned from his post. It is learned that he has sent his resignation to both Hockey India and the Sports Authority of India (SAI), who are his official employers, having renewed his contract until September 2021. Neither organization has commented publicly on the matter so far.

Some reports suggest there were issues about John travelling from his New Delhi base to Bengaluru, where the national camp is currently underway, owing to the coronavirus pandemic. It is believed John had concerns, given the high number of Covid-19 cases among people associated with the sport in India. In May, Hockey India's office had to be shut down after two staffers tested positive for the coronavirus. An employee of the SAI campus in Bangalore, where the national camp is being held, had succumbed to the virus while six members of the Indian men's hockey team had also been hospitalized after testing positive for the virus.

John was being paid $12,000 a month in his current position and had been working from home in New Delhi since the start of the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus in mid-March.

John had been associated with Indian hockey first in 2011 when he was appointed the men's team physio under chief coach Michael Nobbs. He was largely credited for changing the way the Indian team approached strength and conditioning and markedly improving their fitness levels. John had left his job in 2012 following the London Olympics but had subsequently returned in the position of high performance director in 2016. His appointment had been controversial since he did not have any prior coaching experience.

However, John had subsequently proved to be one of the key figures in the sport in India, having become closely associated with the men and women's teams. He had also played a key role in designing Hockey India's ambitious coaching programme.