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.