Olympic champion thrown out of Italian club

7th August 2007, Comments 0 comments

ROME, Aug 6, 2007 (AFP) - France's women's Olympic 400m champion Laure Manaudou has been thrown out of her Italian club for disciplinary reasons, a spokesman of the LaPresse club said on Monday.

ROME, Aug 6, 2007 (AFP) - France's women's Olympic 400m champion Laure Manaudou has been thrown out of her Italian club for disciplinary reasons, a spokesman of the LaPresse club said on Monday.

The 20-year-old joined Turin-based LaPresse in May, controversially leaving former coach Philippe Lucas to train in Italy and be near her fiancee, Italian swimmer Luca Marin.

"Laure Manaudou has been excluded because of her behaviour at the Paris Open (at the weekend)," the Turin club said, confirming information on L'Equipe's website on Monday.

LaPresse added they took the decision because of "her attitude, her refusal to do the relays or warm-ups."

L'Equipe's internet site reported LaPresse boss Marco Durante as saying Manaudou's behaviour was unacceptable, particularly her distance towards the French team and coach Paolo Penso.

"I called Laure Manaudou this morning to tell her my decision," Durante said in a statement. "She is now going on holiday," Durante said. "She can return to the club if she understands what she has done and apologises to Paolo Penso and the French team.

"But there is only one chance in a million that Laure will understand what has happened and come back to us."

Manaudou won three titles at the last world championships in Melbourne and holds the world records over 200 metres and 400 metres freestyle.

She is expected to be one of the biggest names in the pool at next year's Beijing Olympics with a multi-gold medal haul a possbility.

At the weekend's Paris Open, Manaudou won the 50m backstroke in a new French record of 28.50sec, as well as jointly winning the 100m backstroke with Ukrainian Iryna Amshennikova, but she was knocked out in the heats of the 200m backstroke.

Later on Monday, Claude Fauquet, France's swimming national technical director, told French radio: "You never expect things like this. Everybody tried to make the best of things dealing with a problem they didn't expect.

"Now the question is "What was Laure's motivation during this episode?"

AFP

Subject: French news

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