Lionel Horter, Technical Director of French Swimming, Abruptly Resigns from Post

Lionel Horter, the 49-year-old technical director of French swimming, announced to the press today that he had given notice to Francis Luyce, president of the French Swimming Federation (FFN) on Friday, September 12.

Horter’s resignation came about “after a serious incident” that took place during an executive meeting on Thursday evening. “They asked me to fire one of my assistants and I couldn’t accept that,” Horter stated. “I thought about it [Thursday] night and I handed in my resignation on Friday morning.”

“It’s a department in constant turmoil,” Horter said of the Technical department, “and that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

Horter added, “My decision is final” even though Luyce refused to accept his resignation. For his part, the president of the Federation said, “I told him I wouldn’t accept his resignation, that I like to work things out by mutual agreement. I have spoken to Lionel since then and we are going to meet very soon.”

Horter had been in his post since January 2013, when he succeeded Christian Donzé who had passed away unexpectedly. Prior to that Horter had been a successful coach, training such French stars as Amaury Leveaux, Aurore Mongel, Roxana Maracineanu and, briefly, Laure Manaudou.

Horter runs the national training center at Mulhouse Olympic Natation, the club with which Yannick Agnel recently signed to represent when competing in France. Rumors are beginning to surface already about Horter’s being free to coach Agnel, should he leave North Baltimore.

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bobo gigi

Another French drama! 😆
We must have a secret for that.
Now we are waiting for Mr Agnel’s decision. Will he stay in Baltimore or not? Suspense!

Other news. Federica Pellegrini doesn’t train anymore with Philippe Lucas. She prefers coming back in Italy to prepare the olympic games. Very weird decision. It worked well with him. He isn’t an easy guy and it looks like it’s tough for most of his swimmers to stay a long time with him. But what a coach! What he did in one season with Sharon Van Rouwendaal has been spectacular.

And other French news from last week. Laure Manaudou had a motorcycle accident. Fortunately she suffers “only” a triple ankle fracture.


Bobo, Rumor here is that Yannick had already planned on staying in France to train before he left for Europeans. I am sure Europeans reinforced that decision. Things didn’t work out well with him and NBAC …and even worse for Lotte. Remember a year ago she raced Katie……hard to believe they are so far apart now!!!

What do you think is best for Yannick?

bobo gigi

I have no idea. But personally, I would like to see him continue his US experience. We knew the first year would be hard for him. Perhaps it will pay-off in the long term. Or not. Let’s see what he decides.


Bobo and Weirdo, I’m sure you both know more about this than I do, but I thought Yannick said in interviews that he still had full faith in Bowman. I also thought I read that Lotte had contracted food poisoning at Europeans. Everybody except Phelps, Runge and Mann seemed to have a difficult season at NBAC, but I understood that they were all working so hard to lay a training base for future success in Rio. Is it true that Agnel and Friis have left Baltimore for good?


I’ve not heard anything about Lotte leaving Bowman. As has been mentioned elsewhere, she had food poisoning in Berlin along with quite a few of the Danish team, but obviously it’s more debilitating when you’re a distance swimmer and haven’t been able to sleep much or eat for two days before a race.

Lotte comes good on the big occasions, and she’s very much aiming for Rio, so we’ll see. It’s far too premature to write her off on the basis of one bad meet where she was ill.


Danishwoman, Thanks for your reply! I read so many comments here, and it’s hard to know what’s fact and what’s rumor.

By the way, I wasn’t counting Lotte out! I was expressing regret that she might be leaving the US and feeling that her experience here was a negative one. I like the idea of more international cooperation in swimming!


Haha, I’m very much a man actually, perhaps I need to change my name from Henrik to Henrietta or something 🙂

The comment about writing off Lotte wasn’t really aimed at you BTW, more a lot of other comments made since she didn’t do so well in Berlin.


I’m so sorry! God, I should learn to read! Maybe because I was writing about Friis, who IS a Danish woman…. Please forgive my stupidity!

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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