Three-time Olympic medalist Silken Laumann is blasting Rowing Canada's decision to part ways with men's eight coach Mike Spracklen.
"I am so disappointed to learn of the firing of Mike Spracklen from his position of coach of Canada's Olympic men's rowing team," Laumann said in a statement released to the media. "Mike is fresh off a spectacular Olympic silver medal performance in London, where he once again demonstrated his excellence in producing Olympic champions."
Rowing Canada announced Spracklen's departure on its website. The sport's governing body merely said Spracklen will not return to his post, and did not describe his departure as either a firing or resignation. No reasons were given, but Spracklen has had a fractious relationship and public spats with Rowing Canada for a number of years.
Spracklen, a 75-year-old Marlow, England native, guided the men's eight team to a silver medal at the London Games, following up on gold in the men's eight in 1992, silver and bronze in 1996, and gold in the men's eight again in 2000 and 2008.
He also helped Laumann earn a bronze medal in 1992, when she overcame a broken leg suffered in a freak accident 10 weeks before the Barcelona Games to step up to the podium. Spracklen mentored Laumann between 1990 and 1996, when she capped her career with a sliver medal in singles sculls.
She also won a bronze in double sculls in 1984 in Los Angeles.