Rowing Ireland CEO says potential disciplinary action against Sanita Puspure is a private matter
The Board of Rowing Ireland meets tomorrow to consider, amongst other matters, the upcoming disciplinary hearing for Sanita Puspure. Puspure got into trouble for tweeting about the sacking of coach Sean Casey by performance director, Antonio Maurogiovanni. Rowing governing bodies are very sensitive to public criticism by athletes. It is well known that Sir David Tanner, the outgoing performance director at British Rowing keeps a tight rein on communications made by athletes, in part to protect information regarding training and race preparation.
Rowing Ireland will be keen to silence dissent in order not to disturb its funding and sponsors. In 2016 Rowing Ireland received €843,344 in grants and €130,650 from sponsorship. Given the modest income Rowing Ireland generates from, for example, membership fees of €112,757 in 2016, and it’s total income of €1.792m, this leaves the organisation reliant on grants for over 50% of its income.
Maurogiovanni was asked for comment on the upcoming disciplinary hearing by the Irish Times but said only: “I am supportive of the athlete and the commission [which will hold the hearing].” The Chief Executive of Rowing Ireland, Hamish Adams, who is also the disciplinary officer for the organisation has said that the matter is private and has refused to comment further ahead of the hearing for which a date has yet to be set.
In other news, Maurogiovanni has confirmed that the Irish Indoor Rowing Championships is a mandatory part of the program for his athletes. The event is being held at the University of Limerick and has attracted over 1,800 entries.
Paul and Gary O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan are now training in New Zealand and are working with, Caroline McManus an Irish physiologist working New Zealand Rowing. The four rowers are intending to compete at the New Zealand Rowing Championships on Lake Karapiro in February and will then travel to Australia for further competition. O’Driscoll and O’Donovan recently confirmed they were going to compete as heavyweights in their bid to secure a slot at Tokyo 2020.