The BR Volleys have to say a painful farewell: Star setter Sergej Grankin is leaving the German volleyball champion with immediate effect, despite a contract that runs until 2023. The previous team captain will continue his active career in the Russian Superliga. “His departure is not a sporting decision, but a decision owed to global political events,” said the BR Volleys in a press statement on Wednesday.

Grankin played for the Berliners for four years. During this time he was with the team three German champions and one cup winner. The opposing coaches voted him the most valuable player (MVP) after Bundesliga games a total of 23 times. “He was the shining light of the Bundesliga,” Volleys Managing Director Kaweh Niroomand acknowledges the achievements of the 37-year-old and comes to the conclusion: “What Sergej has done for us in four seasons is simply great.”

Nevertheless, the club decided to terminate the contract with Grankin, which was originally valid for one year, because “political and family circumstances make it difficult for him to continue working abroad,” says Niroomand. Grankin sees the center of life for himself and his family in his native Russia.

The volleys now need two new players for the coming season, since the American Matthew West, who plays in this position, has already said goodbye to Berlin with an unknown destination.