The team is beginning the search for a new head coach, and Eduardo Santos (better known as Dudu), who served as the 2015 FINA World Championships open water head coach for Brazil and was a member of Brazil’s 2016 Olympic coaching staff, will head the club in the interim.
Volkers’s contract was originally only set through 2016. He has been Minas‘s head coach for the last four years, and his position there has been controversial.
Volkers originally coached in Australia, where his resume included some of the country’s most successful swimmers, including 8-time Olympic medalist Susie O’Neill.
As reported in July 2014, three of Volkers’ former swimmers, Julie Gilbert, Kylie Rogers, and Simone Boyce claimed they were abused as children while training in Volkers’ swim squad in Australia in the 1980s and 1990s. A detailed account of the three swimmers’ allegations can be read here.
While the charges were eventually dropped in court, Volkers was later refused a “blue card,” which would have allowed him to continue to work with children in Australia. While he did continue to hold positions at the Queensland Academy of Sport and within Swimming Queensland until 2010, he moved to Brazil to work with Minas.
Though he coached at the Brazilian pre-Olympic camp this summer, Volkers was denied accreditation to coach the 2016 Rio Olympics. He traveled to Rio, but was not allowed on deck or in the athletes’ village.
The Brazilian Olympic team faced disappointing results in Rio, coming away from the 2016 Olympics medal-less in the pool, only the second host country this century to fail to medal at their own Olympics in swimming. However, in the Open Water Marathon 10k, Poliana Okimoto scored a bronze medal.