After some nasty teeth-gnashing from French star Fred Bousquet and the Fédération Française de Natation, a somewhat peaceable resolution has been reached that, most importantly, will put Bousquet in Shanghai for the 2011 World Championships, reports France’s l’equipe (similar to our Sports Illustrated).
Short-short version (click link above for more details):
- Bousquet wants his personal coach, Brett Hawke, as a part of French coaching staff
- French federation says no
- Bousquet threatens to boycott World Championships
- French federation still refuses to back down
- Hawke says that he supports his swimmer, but that he doesn’t agree with Bousquet’s actions
Bousquet’s comments indicate that he and his coach likely spoke, as Hawke said they would, and snapped him back to reality. In a television interview, Bousquet, who was greatly calmed, made comments like “I would like to find peace with myself and my federation” and that “it should not remain complicated with my federation,” in referring to the numerous issues he’s had with the FFN since his time with Marseille and his brief doping suspension last year.
Communication has been opened between Bousquet and Christian Donze, head of the FFN. They are working to a positive resolution that will allow Bousquet the comfort of having his personal coach pool-side, as well as not appear that the federation was giving in to any sort of “blackmail”. The focus will now be on finding Hawke another delegation to be a part of, as this is a solution the the French have used in the past.
For example, the former coach of Bousquet’s long-time girlfriend (and baby-mama) Laure Manaudou did not always have a cordial relationship with the FFN either (do these guys get along with anybody?), but he was frequently able to attend large meets such as this through permission of the Romanian federation, as he also worked with Camelia Potec. Hawke himself attended the 2009 Championships not with the french as their coach, rather he was a part of the Brazilian Federation with his top swimmer Cesar Cielo.
Thus far, Hawke has not made his way onto any coaching staffs, though there’s still several federations that have yet to swim their qualifying meets. It has even been reported that the French Federation would help defray some of Hawke’s travel costs if he received credentials from elsewhere.