Rebecca Adlington in talks with British Swimming's David Sparkes

Rebecca Adlington - British swimming in a mess

Rebecca Adlington and British Swimming boss David Sparkes have held talks after the former Olympic champion criticised the governing body.

Adlington, 23, said British Swimming was acting too slowly to replace former head coach Dennis Pursley.

A British Swimming statement said a "healthy debate took place where Sparkes listened to and responded to issues raised by Becky".

Sparkes is set to meet a group of senior swimmers next month.

Team GB's only medals in the pool came from Michael Jamieson, who won a silver, and Adlington, who claimed two bronze.

Pursley resigned because the team missed their target of five but a British Swimming review found that there was no need for an overhaul of the system.

Performance director Michael Scott also quit last month following the publication of the review, leaving two key roles vacant.

Adlington, whose bronze medals in London follow the two gold medals she won at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, disagreed with the review's outcome, claiming the sport was in a "mess" and said swimmers felt lost because they have no central figure.

British Swimming announced on Tuesday that Mark Perry, head of development and open water swimming, would become technical leader in a caretaker capacity, while Ian Mason, overall world class director of operations for aquatics programmes, concentrated on swimming.

The British Swimming statement read: "British Swimming chief executive David Sparkes has held initial discussions with Olympic swimmer Becky Adlington to listen to concerns raised following this week's publication of the London 2012 performance debrief report."

The statement continued: "Sparkes will now meet the British Swimming athlete leadership group next month to update on actions from the debrief report and to ensure enhanced two-way communication with the group."

Adlington and Sparkes are reported to have spoken by phone.

The leadership group comprises senior athletes, but with a number of swimmers set to retire, possibly including Adlington, its composition is expected to change.

Sparkes had said he was "desperately trying to set up an early meeting with Rebecca and her colleagues" after the swimmer's comments.

BBC Sport swimming expert Steve Parry defended British Swimming, saying the governing body should not rush into naming a new head coach.

Appointments for a permanent head coach and performance director are expected to be made early in the new year.

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