TODAY |

'I don't need them': Dick Tonks lashes double standards, washes his hands of Rowing NZ

It appears the relationship between rowing's national body and Dick Tonks is over, with the supercoach saying "I'm done with New Zealand Rowing".

A schism has appeared between the parties over Tonks' decision to help Chinese men's rowers from a provincial crew on Lake Karapiro, a move that has angered the sport's authorities.

Tonks has been the backbone behind much of New Zealand's recent success on the water, since he was employed full-time in 1999.

His list of glory includes Olympic gold medals for the likes of Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell, Mahe Drysdale, Hamish Bond and Eric Murray.

However, Tonks told ONE News it was up to Rowing New Zealand to build bridges.

"I've got a job, I don't need them."

Rowing New Zealand continues to be in discussions with Richard Tonks. These discussions are based on achieving the best outcome for the athletes. - Rowing New Zealand

While it appears the two parties will eventually part ways for good, Rowing New Zealand is open to discussions with Tonks, who could continue in his role until the end of next year's Rio Olympics. 

"Supporting the athletes is the number one priority for Rowing New Zealand. We are aiming for a positive outcome for all involved."

Tonks is coaching New Zealand ace Mahe Drysdale and world champions Zoe Stevenson and Eve Macfarlane.

Drysdale said he was keen to keep working with his mentor through to the 2016 Olympic Games, but Tonks said it was "entirely up to New Zealand Rowing," something that could be easier said than done.

Rowing New Zealand has issued an ultimatum to star rowing coach Richard Tonks after he was found to be working with Chinese athletes. Source: 1 NEWS

"I'm done with New Zealand Rowing, they'll have to jack up some other system of doing it."

Tonks says there is double standards at play, given he was sent a lawyer's letter about his work with the Chinese when Rowing New Zealand was welcoming a Canadian athlete into the summer squad.

He has not signed a contract with the Shanghai club, but expects to be well paid when he does.

However, he says it won't be worth as much as his deal with Rowing New Zealand.

The Chinese rowers are building towards a major domestic competition in 2017.

Legendary coach Dick Tonks speaks about the schism that has opened up with Rowing New Zealand. Source: 1 NEWS


More From