SYDNEY (AP)Two-time Canadian Olympic gold medalist Alex Baumann will leave his role as chief executive officer of Swimming Australia for health reasons.
Swimming Australia made the announcement on Monday. The 57-year-old Baumann was only appointed to the position in April and began his new duties a month later.
”As a two-time cancer survivor, I appreciate how important health and family are . . . I recognize the timing is difficult but I know I must take this time for myself and my family now,” Baumann was quoted as saying in a statement. No other details of his illness were disclosed.
Baumann won gold medals in the 200- and 400-meter individual medley for Canada at the 1984 Los Angeles Games.
Baumann had been performing a review of Swimming Australia’s operations amid controversy that flared during the lead-in to the Tokyo Games. SA formed an independent panel to investigate claims of bullying and abuse of swimmers.
The news comes after Australia’s swim team won 20 medals at Tokyo, nine of them gold. That was second only to the 11 golds and 30 medals overall won by the United States.
Swimming Australia president Kieren Perkins, a 1,500-meter gold medalist at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics, said its board of directors will appoint an interim CEO and begin a recruitment process.
”We’re sad to see Alex go. This is a great loss for our sport, but we understand his reasons for leaving and thank him for everything he has done at Swimming Australia,” Perkins said. ”We understand health is more important than anything else. We wish him and his family all the best for the future.”
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