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Swimming's Loss, Rugby's Gain

Apr 15, 2010  - Craig Lord

Alan Thompson, who resigned and took redundancy as Australian head swim coach in January amidst disagreements with the Swimming Australia board and an inquiry into anonymous allegations into events that dated back to 2007 and, as it turned out, never happened,  has switched sports:  National Rugby League (NRL) club Canterbury Bullogs on Thursday announced the appointment of Thompson as general manager of the club's rugby operations.

On Wednesday this week, Thompson was cleared of any wrongdoing by an independent inquiry that took four months to reach its conclusion, that being: there was no evidence to suggest that the coach had been involved in "inappropriate" behaviour at a coaching conference on the Gold Coast in 2007.

The Bulldogs said Thompson will oversee a range of rugby programmes including the Bulldogs High Performance Unit and the development, welfare and education portfolios. "This is a major coup for the Bulldogs," club chief executive Todd Greenberg told reporters Down Under. "Working as a coach and an administrator Alan guided Australian swimming through a golden era. He has a proven ability to create environments that allow athletes to excel and we’re delighted to welcome him on board."

Thompson, a former player for the Bulldogs and a long-time supporter of the club. said: "I'm really excited to be back in professional sport and working with the Bulldogs, I've been following them for more than 40 years."