SYDNEY, Australia, September 26. DESPITE quotes and reports in Chinese newspapers that he has been banned from coaching foreign swimmers, Denis Cotterell says those reports are untrue and that he is only taking a break from working with stars Sun Yang and Ye Shiwen.
In an article published today by the Australian Free Press, Cotterell said the reports are “totally erroneous,” adding that while he believes Swimming Australia would prefer for him to focus only on Australian swimmers, no one is keeping him from working with foreigners.
Reports in Chinese newspapers, particularly the Chinese Daily, indicate that Swimming Australia has placed a ban on foreign swimmers coming to Australia to work with Cotterell, who is the head coach at the Miami Swimming Club on the Gold Coast in Queensland. The club is one of Swimming Australia's Centers of Excellence.
Cotterell helped Sun and Ye each win two gold medals at the London Olympics, with each setting a jaw-dropping world record in the process. Ye set hers in the 400 individual medley, sparking rumors of doping as she split a 58.68 on the freestyle leg, almost faster than Ryan Lochte's freestyle leg in his 400 IM. Ye would go on to also win the 200 IM.
Sun won the 400 freestyle, nearly breaking Paul Biedermann's world record, then smashed his own world mark in the 1500 freestyle on the meet's final night. He also tied for silver in the 200 freestyle with Tae Hwan Park and won a bronze medal in the 800 free relay.
Sun and Ye do not train full time with Cotterell, jetting back and forth between China and Australia. Two of Cotterell's homegrown swimmers also enjoyed success in London. Thomas Fraser-Holmes participated in the championship final of the 400 IM and 200 free, as well as the 800 free relay. Jade Nielsen was a prelim swimmer for Australia in the 800 free relay, earning a silver medal for her efforts.