(AFP) – Sep 26, 2012
SYDNEY — The Australian coach behind Chinese swimming sensations Ye Shiwen and Sun Yang on Wednesday denied reports that officials back home had banned him from training foreign athletes.
Denis Cotterell dismissed the claims, made in the state China Daily newspaper on Monday, as a misunderstanding.
"I said I wanted to have a break until the end of the year and just see what was happening," Cotterell told the Gold Coast Bulletin newspaper.
"I don't know where (the information) comes from... it's just nothing. I don't know who started it," he added.
"It should just die. The story is the wrong story."
Cotterell acknowledged that Swimming Australia would probably prefer that he didn't coach overseas swimmers, but described talk of a ban as "totally erroneous".
Sun told the China Daily that Cotterell had been barred from training foreign swimmers by Australian swimming chiefs following Australia's disappointing showing in the pool at the London Olympics.
Australian swimming is undergoing a sweeping review after winning just one gold medal, six silver and three bronze in London -- its lowest Olympic tally in the pool since Barcelona 1992.
As well as Sun, who shattered his own world record to take the 1500m freestyle in London and won the 400m freestyle, Cotterell has worked with teen prodigy Ye, who blew the field away to win the women's medley double.
Cotterell was also behind Australian distance swimming great Grant Hackett and has been credited with shaping a number of Australia's top swimmers.
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