James Magnussen’s war with Swimming Australia has gone public after the sport’s bosses rubbished the world champion’s decision to ignore their advice and choose little known swim coaches Mitch and Lach Falvey to guide his pursuit of 2016 Rio Olympic gold.
As revealed by The Courier-Mail last month, Magnussen was at loggerheads with head coach Jacco Verhaeren and high performance boss Michael Scott over his plan to train at Ravenswood swim club in Sydney’s north under the Falveys.
Magnussen ignored their advice and confirmed yesterday he would train with the Falveys through to Rio, sparking a fierce rebuke from the swim team who “do not support” the decision but will assist him by providing some funding to help him to Rio.
It is understood Magnussen has almost completely cut ties with all the regular support networks for athletes, including the NSW Institute of Sport program, and is effectively going it alone with his own team in the race to Rio.
“From the outset Swimming Australia has wanted what we believe is best for James to fulfill his potential and to be ready for next year’s World Championships and the 2016 Olympics in Rio,” Scott said.
“We do not support the training environment James has chosen going forward and there are a range of factors that have led us to that decision and we are not about to go into them.
“But in saying that we have nothing against the young coaches Mitch and Lach Falvey – at the end of the day we respect James’ right to make his own decision – although we haven’t got to agree with it.
“However we will still provide financial support to James. This support will need to be targeted at specific gaps that Jacco as Head Coach has identified.”
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