British Swimming performance director quits after he refuses to live in Britain

Saturday, 24 November 2012
By Duncan Mackay

Michael Scott head and shouldersNovember 24 - Michael Scott has resigned as British Swimming's performance director after he refused to live in Britain, a key recommendation of a review he initiated following the failure of the team to reach its medals target at London 2012. 

Britain fell two medals short of its target of five at the Aquatics Centre to prompt Scott to launch a review into performances, which is being led by Craig Hunter, an independent member of British Swimming's Board, who was the Chef de Mission for Britain's Paralympic team at London 2012.

The full findings of the report are due to be published next month but Scott has decided to resign after the five-man review panel recommended he should reside in Britain.

Scott, who has lived in Australia since joining British Swimming in 2007, will officially leave his post on November 30, it has been announced.

"I respect this conclusion from the performance review I initiated following our results in London," said Scott.

"I wanted to make sure we left no stone unturned in understanding why we didn't achieve our goals. 

"One of the key findings of the review requires a change to my current working practice by being based in Britain.

"However, for personal and family reasons, I'm unable to meet this recommendation and therefore offered my resignation.

"I'd like to thank British Swimming, the swimmers and the coaches, for the opportunity to lead the programme and wish all involved the very best for the future."

Scott had described himself as "gutted" by Great Britain's performances after the Olympic Games.

Michael Scott with Team GB before London 2012Michael Scott described himself as "gutted" after Britain's swimming team failed to achieve its target of five medals at London 2012

Britain won only three medals at London 2012 - a silver in the 200 metres breaststroke from Michael Jamieson and bronze in the 400m and 800m freestyle for Rebecca Adlington - two short of their target.

After the Games Adlington had criticised Scott for basing himself in Australia rather than Britain. 

British Swimming chief executive David Sparkes praised Scott for his work as he now turns his attention to finding a successor with next July's World Championships in Barcelona looming large.

"Michael's leadership has delivered some of the best results we have seen in recent years at Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth level," Sparkes said.

"He leaves Britain with our sincere thanks and we wish him well for the future.

"The hunt will now begin to find a new performance director to initiate the recommendations within the Olympic Review and to make the next big step change towards Rio in 2016."

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