"We found out about it from the press," moritz geisreiter, athletes’ spokesman for the german speed skating association (DESG), told the "suddeutsche zeitung". His colleague leon kaufmann-ludwig explained that in his opinion this was no coincidence. It must have been clear to the provisional DESG president, matthias grobe, "that there was no approval from the athletes for this. It was only claudia pechstein and matthias grobe who had a public dispute with bouwman."
Grobe had announced in berlin at the beginning of the month that bouwman would be celebrating in writing the end of his employment contract on his 31st. July had been communicated. The dutchman announced legal action. The background to this is the year-long rift between pechstein and bouwman, since the latter declared that he had "no desire" to train the five-time olympic champion. Thereupon there had been a months-long mud fight between both sides.
"Athletes who talk to me say they see no other profiteer than pechstein and grob. They were happy to continue working with bouwman," geisreiter said now. In addition, the 32-year-old spoke of a climate in the association that is changing in a negative direction. "Since the interim presidency, athletes have been coming up to me and saying – unasked – that they’re concerned about changing their mind because they don’t know if they’ll keep their squad status," geisreiter said. "We are currently experiencing an unpleasant phase of controversy. I am optimistic, however, that things will soon get better."