AUSTRALIA, June 1. SWIMMING Australia President Barclay Nettlefold, who was reported under investigation earlier this week for inappropriate comments to a female consultant, has been stood down.
Swimming Australia board member Nicole Livingstone and chief executive Mark Anderson announced the decision at the Melbourne Sport and Aquatic Centre late yesterday following an emergency board meeting, as reported by Australian news source The Australian.
“The Swimming Australia board has today made the decision to stand down President Barclay Nettlefold pending an independent investigation into allegations of inappropriate comments made to staff,” said Livingstone.
The initial investigation announced by Anderson was a result of an allegation that Nettlefold made an inappropriate comment to a female consultant in an elevator at the Australian Championships in Adelaide last month.
“The Swimming Australia board was today provided with new information about a separate allegation of inappropriate comments in addition to the one that is already being handed though our member welfare policy,” said Livingstone.
While the details of the second incident are not confirmed, rumors are that it took place in a hotel room during the championship when several other high-ranking Swimming Australian officials were present. It is alleged that Nettlefold made inappropriate comments about a female sports scientist while she was out of the room.
UPDATE: A statement was just released on behalf of Nettlefold through Swimming Australia. It reads:
I would like to announce that the Board of Swimming Australia has today accepted, with immediate effect, my resignation as President.
My decision to step down will ensure the significant progress and substantial positive change to the sport of swimming in this country continues.
There were some private comments I made in jest to my colleagues recently that were not consistent with the standards expected of me, standards I have urged to be incorporated into the future culture of Swimming Australia.
I am proud to have initiated two independent inquiries into swimming and I commend the people who have worked with me and supported the drive for change. They all have the institution of swimming in Australia at their heart and together I believe we have made great progress in a very short period of time.