World Sailing tonight denied claims by former chief executive Peter Sowrey he was fired after he launched an attempt to get events at this year's Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro moved from Guanabara Bay to a venue more than 100 miles away.
Sowrey, formerly the managing director of business process outsourcing and sales for Accenture, stood down in December just five months after being appointed by the International Sailing Federation, since rebranded as World Sailing.
Dealing with the problems at Rio 2016 was an immediate challenge for Briton due to concerns over the high levels of water pollution at Guanabara Bay.
He told Associated Press today that he had proposed for the competition be held in cleaner waters in Buzios, over 100 miles to the north-east, presenting his plans in a 20-page dossier.
"I couldn't win that battle, not internally at ISAF [World Sailing] and I couldn't win it with the organisers," he told Associated Press.
"I was perplexed why there was no back-up sailing plan.
"It's only sailing after all, it's not curing cancer."
Sowrey also claimed that the Board felt he was "way too aggressive" and "basically voted him out" before they "finally told him to leave".
World Sailing, who subsequently replaced Sowrey with former British Olympic Association chief executive Andy Hunt earlier this month, dispute this.
"We were surprised by the comments attributed to the former ISAF chief executive officer Peter Sowrey in a recent interview," the world governing body told insidethegames in a statement this evening.
"Of their own accord, the Hotel Association, the Commercial and Business Association of Buzios and the Buzios Convention & Visitors Bureau wrote to the ISAF President on July 27, 2015 offering the services of their city as an alternative Olympic sailing venue.
"Under the guidance of chief executive officer at the time, Peter Sowrey, the President wrote back on August 3, 2015 with the following statement, 'As you know the venue for the Sailing event of the 2016 Olympic Games was evaluated and approved some years ago. There are no plans currently to consider other venues.’
"World Sailing continues to work in close partnership with the Rio 2016 Organising Committee and the International Olympic Committee to ensure that the venue is suitable to provide an outstanding Olympic Sailing Competition."
World Sailing told insidethegames that Sowrey resigned of his own accord and that it was for reasons nothing to do with water pollution.
It had previously been claimed his departure was due to him being used to a "different corporate environment" to that of the sports world, a claim seemingly backed by the decision to appoint Hunt as his successor.
“There were doubts on both sides that were highlighted when we went to Sanya [in China for the body's annual conference] because the conference is always such a difficult situation with so many issues going on,” said World Sailing President Carlo Croce last month.
“In that moment we both got the feeling that it was very difficult for somebody who was not in this world but was more used to a corporate environment to face various issues that came on."
insidethegames has attempted to contact Sowrey for a clarification of his comments.