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John Bertrand new president of Swimming Australia

August 30, 2013

SYDNEY (AP) — Swimming Australia has looked to another form of watersports for its new president, appointing former America’s Cup-winning sailor John Bertrand on Friday.

Bertrand skippered Australia II which won the America’s Cup for Australia in 1983, breaking 132 years of American domination in the event. He has also competed in two Olympics — 1972 and 1976, winning a bronze medal in Montreal in 1976.

Australia has had a turbulent year in swimming — six members on the men’s relay team were reprimanded after using banned sleeping tablets ahead of the London Games, and the same six were accused of “boorish” behavior directed at female swimmers.

The team had its worst performance in 20 years at the London Olympics, winning only one gold medal in the pool, and coach Leigh Nugent resigned in March.

Bertrand replaces Barclay Nettlefold, who resigned as president in June amid claims of inappropriate comments toward female staff.

“Swimming has a proud history in this country and a reputation for hard work, humility and success,” Bertrand said. “This tradition needs to continue and be a clear focus for all athletes and coaches as we head towards Rio in 2016.”

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