By Duncan Mackay

Swimming_New_ZealandSeptember 3 - New Zealand swimming finds itself in turmoil less than a year before the start of the London 2012 Olympics after its President and high performance manager both resigned following calls that the sport needs reorganising amid claims of incompetence and poor leadership.

Murray Coulter stood down as President and chairman of the Board of Swimming New Zealand (SNZ) yesterday and has now been followed by Jan Cameron, has resigned as the high performance manager, it has been revealed.

"I can confirm I resigned today," Cameron told the Star-Times newspaper.

"My departure is as of next Friday (September 9) and I'm sad to be leaving pre-London, but I wish all of New Zealand's swimmers the very best.

"I'm certainly going to miss being involved with the high performance team working toward the London Olympics.

"But, really, I think it's time to consider some options."

Cameron, an Australian who won a silver medal at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, was also the driving force behind the establishment of New Zealand swimming's first recognised high performance structure, which produced several Olympians and Commonwealth Games medallists.

In November 2008 Cameron moved from national coach to general manager of performance and pathways, one of several new positions created during a reorganisation of SNZ.

But a recent eport commissioned by Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) has criticised the system, claiming that the current structure is unsustainable and that feedback from the elite environment was negative.

Coulter eleased a letter to SNZ members last week, informing them he was standing down from both roles with immediate effect.

"I am very distressed at the personal attacks our staff and board are currently enduring," Coulter wrote.

"I am proud of the professional way each has responded, most especially our dedicated and hard working staff. If I remain I will damage our sport and I am not prepared to do that.

"These attacks mean that a small number of people are bringing our sport into disrepute.

"I hope my standing down will help us move past the negativity and help begin the process of change we know that our sport desperately needs."

New Zealand have failed to win an Olympic medal in the pool since Atlanta in 1996 when Danyon Loader won the 200 and 400 metres freestyle. 

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