Australia: Grant Hackett, retired distance legend, has offered to serve as mentor to the current Aussie team. Hackett and fellow former Olympian and AOC board member Chris Fydler have chatted about how they might help pull things together in the wake of the Stilnox saga, official review and proposed change. "I would be more than willing to help," Hackett told reporters. "I have sat down with Chris Fydler and we have even discussed things we can do as past swimmers to try to help this current crop who are going through it all now. It would be getting together and talking and just opening up the dialogue, so we can understand what is going on. We've been through it all before ourselves, there's a lot of wisdom there, there's a lot of experience there that can be passed on to this current generation of swimmers." With a nod to James Magnussen, Olympic 100m free silver medallist, Hackett, who championed the 'one for all, all for one' team philosophy in his day, added: "I would have loved James Magnussen, for instance, to have given me a phone call a few days out from the Olympics saying, 'Mate, I am feeling bloody nervous'. There is a lot of pressure on me, I didn't know what it was going to be like competing at this environment can you give me some advice?"
Australia: Alicia Coutts, Australia's most decorated swimmer in recent years, tells Fairfax media that she would leave Canberra if her long-time mentor John Fowlie is forced to move as part of the restructure of the Australian Institute of Sport. "As long as Im swimming I want to stay in Canberra, but obviously I want to stay with my coach," says Coutts. "Ive been training with him for over six-and-a-half years and we have a really good relationship. He's got the best out of me and I wouldn't want that to change. I want to keep training with John until I decide it is time to retire." Coutts and Co are making ready for Aussie world title trials in Adelaide from April 26 to May 3.
Anti-Doping: Lance Armstrong, last week reminded that he is not welcome in the world of swimming racing, has asked a Texas court to dismiss a lawsuit by a Dallas promotions company seeking repayment of more than $US12 million in bonuses paid for winning the Tour de France. SCA Promotions sued Armstrong and his manager Bill Stapleton in February. It claims that Armstrong committed fraud by using performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour seven times. SCA paid Armstrong's team management company Tailwind Sports for several of those victories. Armstrong has been stripped of all Tour titles. He admitted to doping and lying in a confession this year that followed allegations from teammates and others that he had cheated. The sides have been battling over the money since 2005, when SCA tried to withhold the fee. Armstrong sued, sending the case in a lengthy arbitration process where the company tried to prove Armstrong took drugs. SCA agreed to pay him in a voluntary settlement in 2006. Armstrong's affidavits argue that settlement is legally binding and includes language that it cannot be appealed. "SCA does not believe that any prior occurrences in its litigation history with Lance Armstrong bar its attempts to seek recovery through legal channels today," company spokesman Jeff Dorough said. Armstrong, 41, had tried to enter the weekend's US Masters Swimming regional championships in Texas but was barred from competition on Thursday after FINA intervened by noting its rules and stating that it recognises USADA's ban on the former athlete.