Swimming - Coach Bachmann suspended pending trial |04 April 2019
French swimming coach Guillaume Bachmann has been suspended indefinitely, Sports NATION has learned.
Speaking to Sports NATION on Tuesday, National Sports Council (NSC) chief executive Jean Larue confirmed the suspension.
“Coach Bachmann has been suspended until his GOP (gainful occupational permit) expires or the case is disposed off in the court of law,” said Mr Larue.
Sports NATION understands that coach Bachmann’s GOP expires in September 2019 while he will next appear in court in November 2019.
Bachmann’s first appearance in court was on March 8 and when he appeared for the second time on March 28, he pleaded not guilty for the charge of indecent act under section 137 (of the Penal Code) imposed on him after being seen in a video pulling the swimsuit of his teenage girl swimmer inside her butt at the national pools at Roche Caïman in December last year.
In the video which had gone viral on social media, the coach was seen pulling the edges of the lady swimmer’s swimsuit inside her butt while she was on the starting block and about to dive start.
Bachmann will reappear before the court for trial on November 8 and 28, 2019.
An application for Bachmann’s passport to be seized was met with refusal and it is not clear what will happen if he decides to leave the country when his GOP expires in September.
The French coach was first suspended in December last year and National Sports Council (NSC) chief executive Jean Larue confirmed the suspension.
“The coach has been suspended pending investigation by both the police and the National Sports Council,” Mr Larue told Sports NATION at the time.
But in February this year, Bachmann was included in the squad for the Confédération Africaine de Natation (Cana) Zone IV Swimming Championships in Windhoek, Namibia from February 16-20.
Speaking to Sports NATION to clarify on what ground the coach was reinstated, Mr Larue said that coach Bachmann had to resume duty as according to employment laws an employer may suspend a worker without pay pending the investigation but for no longer than one month.
The law also states than an employer shall before the expiry of 40 days after the date of suspension of a worker under subsection (1) (a), or immediately after the completion of an investigation referred to in subsection (1) (b) inform the worker of the outcome of the investigation.
And when asked about the outcome of the investigation by the police, Mr Larue replied: “The police are still running their investigation into the incident.”
It is not clear if the Seychelles Swimming Association will recruit a new coach for the national team.
Meanwhile, Seychelles national swimming team captain Dean Hoffman has sent a letter dated April 2, 2019 to President Danny Faure, Vice-President Vincent Meriton, other ministers and to yours in writing on behalf of all swimmers of the national and academy teams.
In his letter, Hoffman writes that “despite our team and coach’s efforts and success, there are some who still choose to ignore the good and ignite the bad.”
He added that sometime after the team got back from Namibia it was brought to their attention that a group of people was still harassing their coach even though all national team swimmers and families are in good terms with coach Bachmann.
“This harmful situation is affecting swimming in general, particularly the academy and Seychelles swimming national team. The reality is that some people are trying to do harm to the national team and our coach. These same people may be simply jealous and evil beyond comparison. Bachmann is the best coach Seychelles may have ever had and probably will be the best coach we will ever have if we stop evil from being allowed to run free on the deck of the swimming pool.
“There are only four months till the Indian Ocean Island Games, but this fact is irrelevant to these people trying to trash our coach’s life out of jealousy and lack of intellect. In doing so they will trash the national swimming team from performing well without a coach just months away from our regional Olympics,” Hoffman writes.