It was revealed in the summer by Faber that reports made by several swimmers to the Netherlands’ Center for Safe Sport (part of NOC*NSF) related to his policy at the top sports program and affected him personally as well. De Volkskrant. That newspaper quotes a confidential letter from director Ashwin Lankwarden of the KNZB, which states that it is about “signals of dissatisfaction with elements of transgressive behaviour”.
The swimming federation subsequently commissioned an external agency to conduct an independent investigation. While the file is being scanned, Faber may remain active. At the beginning of December, he will simply go to the European Short Course Championships in Otopeni, Romania, as one of the coaches.
“It was never my intention.”
During the investigation, Faber himself cannot respond substantively. He wants to say that he “finds it particularly disturbing that athletes feel dissatisfied.” “It has always been my intention to make the search for athletic boundaries go hand in hand with fun. In consultation with my colleagues, I have strived to provide a positive performance climate. Every athlete who has not experienced it this way is one of the overachievers. If the research shows that athletes, in That time or afterwards, they did not feel comfortable with it, I am very sorry. Of course that was never my intention. I am always willing to participate in discussions and will do my best to remove feelings of dissatisfaction and help improve the performance climate further.
The Swimming Federation said in a brief statement that it does not make any statements regarding individual reports of inappropriate behavior. “KNZB stands for Swimming Safety and Safe Sporting Climate. The signals that reach us are weighed and followed up, after which the results, consequences and possible measures are communicated to stakeholders.
Faber (50), national coach for the High Performance Center (HPC) in Amsterdam, was also head coach of senior swimming within the KNZB for two years. This dual role cost him a lot of time, after which the swimming federation appointed another technical director in the person of Sieurs Lemertz to take over the duties from him. Faber continued to play at Sloterparkbad with breaststroke aces Arnaud Kamminga (good for silver at the Games and World Championships), Tess Schouten (World Cup bronze last summer) and Kaspar Corbo (came from America) as well as sprinter Kenzo Simons.
“I wanted to focus more on guiding the elite swimmers poolside. To prevent us from losing a few percentage points on the way to the Paris Olympics, which might make a difference later. I ask the athletes to commit and focus 100%. Faber said earlier: “In In return, they can also expect that from me.” Now let us add: “This also means that a number of swimmers have started training under a different coach. I would like to explicitly stress that this decision is separate from the reports.”
Tensions in the Dutch camp
The question is how serious the accusations against him are. Will Faber arrive in Paris? Can Kammenga – the duo with Faber – deliver a world-class performance again with someone else so soon before the Games? How do the other swimmers deal with the tensions in the Dutch camp? Ultimately, this should also include the reporters who expressed their discontent.
At the suggestion of national coach Patrick Persson, HPC Eindhoven’s top swimmers are already ignoring the European Short Course Championships. They will hold another training camp on their way to the Long Course World Championships in Doha in February.
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