Oliver Zeidler on the regatta course in Munich
Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images
Rowing world champion Oliver Zeidler attacked the sporting leadership in the German Rowing Association with harsh words after the European Championships in Munich.
"If, after my criticism of the professionalism in competitive rowing, you simply say that you don't know what you're talking about, then that's also an indication that on the one hand the German sports director really has little idea about sport, and on the other hand our two management positions in the Rowing really have no idea what's going on at our bases," said Zeidler.
Zeidler missed a medal - 50 years after his grandfather's Olympic victory
At the disappointing European Championships, the German Rowing Association had only won bronze in the Olympic boat classes thanks to Alexandra Föster, who was only 20 years old.
Zeidler, who started as the top favourite, was still in the lead in the final until shortly before the finish, but was then overtaken by three competitors and only finished fourth.
The native of Dachau missed out on winning gold on the regatta course 50 years after his grandfather Hans-Johann Färber, who had triumphed at the 1972 Olympic Games.
Even before the title fights, Zeidler had been critical.
»But we don't have anyone in the German Rowing Association who has this idea of competitive sport.
It's time that responsibility was taken,' he had said.
National coach Brigitte Bielig considers the harsh criticism to be excessive.
»He's right in parts, but I think the accusation of unprofessionalism in particular is far too harsh.
With his kind of criticism, he doesn't make life easier for us as an association," she had said.
In Oberschleißheim she announced "individual talks" with Zeidler.
"I think we'll find each other on the right track," she said - before Zeidler voiced his new criticism.
Zeidler identified a communication problem.
If you don't talk to the athletes, you don't build a relationship with them.
'I told the truth.
I have to say that the reaction of our national coach and our sports director, simply saying no to all of my arguments, is simply not dealing with criticism that I have expressed, "he said.