The athletes from the Greek rowing team are punished with a 3 months suspension from the national team. The decision for their suspension is taken by the board of managers of the Greek rowing federation and the reason for this is the absence of the team from the last preparative camp organized by the federation. The refusal of the athletes to participate in the camp is a sign of protest against the unsatisfactory financial remuneration and the conditions of the practices.
Before they express their protest the rowers had addressed their petition to the federation for improving the conditions for practice, for better food and also for better remuneration. The federation on the other side set the condition that the athletes take part in the preparative camp and agreed to proceed with considering the requests of the rowers – an answer which did not satisfy the athletes.
President of the rowing federation Yiannis Carras is definite that the punishment will not be canceled. He described he actions of the athletes as explicit and made it clear that in a time of economic crisis the federation does not have the possibility to offer a higher remuneration, however it had agreed to meet and discuss this with the rowers after the preparative camp. The athletes and their coaches were informed about the punishment from the first moment.
Although the decision of the board of managers did not scare the athletes, it did create confusion among them. Vasilis Polimeros – the silver medal winner from the Beijing Olympic games commented on the events with sorrow… He described the situation in which the rowing as a sport is put as unfavorable compared to the situation of other sports and confessed that problems in the federation are a fact, which the medals and the successes of the athletes could cover until now.
According to the words of Polimeros the rowers have not yet decided what their next step will be…