Swedish Olympians Michelle Coleman and Jennie Johansson have been blocked from competing with their country’s national team, though they have not been officially suspended.
Sweden’s DN (Dagens Nyheter) Sport reports that the two have been stopped from representing Sweden internationally by the nation’s swimming federation. The DN Sport story is in Swedish, but a rough translation says the two were “stopped” from the national team but not suspended.
The federation declined to comment in the story on the situation, with National Team Head Coach Ulrika Sandmark only saying “I do not want to comment on it. We handled this internally. It’s an ongoing process,” again in a translation of the original Swedish.
The difference between being blocked from competing and from being officially suspended or dropped from the national team appears to be that Coleman and Johansson are still allowed to practice at the NEC national training center in Stockholm. Sandmark said as much in the DN Sport piece, and also said the two would retain their funding.
Coleman and Johansson were equally tight-lipped about the situation. A quote from the pair is included in the report: “There have been various things that led to this… but now we want to put this behind us.”
The upshot of the decision is that neither swimmer will compete at the Short Course World Championships next month in Windsor, Canada. Coleman would have been pre-qualified based on her 200 free from the Rio Olympics, and Johansson would have had a very strong shot at making the team with a 100 breast swim at the Swedish Championships in Stockholm this week. Johansson says, though, that she had already made the decision to skip the coming short course season in order to get an early jump on long course season in the opes of defending her 2015 World Championships gold in the 50 breast.
Coleman, meanwhile, says she had planned to swim at the FINA World Cup, and that the federation’s decision was a blow to her plans. “That’s why the announcement is obviously tough, but as I said before, I’m choosing to look forward,” she said in the DN Sport piece. Coleman and Johansson are both two-time Swedish Olympians, competing in 2012 and 2016.