DURBAN, South Africa, September 13. ROLAND Schoeman, South Africa's sprinting sensation, reacted to criticism by countryman Gerhard Zandberg over Schoeman not signing Swimming South Africa's Code of Conduct. Swimming SA called for each of its elite performers to sign the Code of Conduct, which includes stipulations over endorsement contracts
Zandberg claimed that Schoeman's ego got in the way of signing the contract, the latest in a long line of issues between Schoeman and Swimming South Africa. The national governing body has made life difficult for Schoeman, Ryk Neethling, Lyndon Ferns and Darian Townsend, all of whom train in the United States. Swimming SA prefers the swimmers train in their homelands. Really, the organization's reaction suggests jealousy in that its top swimmers are proving successful under training methods in another locale.
"The code is a binding contract that impacts on my career as a professional swimmer. It would be unprofessional and highly irresponsible of me to sign a binding contract without being aware of its contents," Schoeman said in an article in The Times.
Neethling has signed the Code of Conduct, but only after he was able to make some adjustments to the contract. Schoeman and Neethling have been longtime international stars with the ability to profit off endorsement deals with swimwear manufacturers.