Stev Theloke Sent Home from Montreal by German Swimming Federation

By Stephen J. Thomas

MONTREAL, Canada, July 23. GERMAN dorsal specialist Stev Theloke has been sent packing from the German team for openly criticizing head coach Ralph Beckmann this week in Germany’s largest sports newspaper Sport Bild.

Theloke, the current European champ in the 50 backstroke, who was a medal contender in the one-lap dash in Montreal, had his best result in international competition when he took the bronze in the 100 backstroke at the Sydney Olympics.

The 27-year-old had been openly critical of head coach Beckmann’s tough methods and relevance of team preparations for the World Champs, but it appears the relationship between the two had not been ideal for some time. Since his dismissal Theloke has suggested he may need to leave Germany to continue his career in the sport although Beckmann has said the door is not closed on future representation for Theloke.

The German Web site Sportal detailed that two of the older statesman on the German team, Mark Warnecke and Thomas Rupprath, both felt the behavior of their teammate was unacceptable coming into a major meet and it had had a destabilizing effect on the team.