Laurent Depouilly is Brian Joubert’s new coach. The French figure skating federation announced the change this morning in a press release. Depouilly replaces Jean-Christophe Simond who said he feels betrayed by Joubert’s actions.
Depouilly, who coached Joubert from October 2003 through January 2005, will be at the French skater’s side for the ISU World Team Trophy in Tokyo (April 16-19).
In a statement, federation officials said that Joubert would be helped during major skating events by “the most competent personalities for his training and [who will best] represent his image.”
“My main wish is to train and remain in Poitiers,” Joubert said, “to have Depouilly as my coach, Tatiana Tarasova as my choreographer and Lucinda Ruh (from Switzerland) in charge of spins.”
Depouilly arrived in Poitiers on April 1. “I feel honored to train him [again], and that the decision was a recognition of the work we did together,” Depouilly declared.
In 2004 under Depouilly‘s direction, Joubert won the European title and was later the runner-up at the 2004 World Championships, behind Evgeni Plushenko.
“We have to shape all the details of an eventual work [arrangement] together, in accordance with the French federation. Being at his side until the Olympics will be a privilege,” Depouilly said.
Joubert claimed that problems with Simond started in January 2007 at the European Championships, which were held in Warsaw. Joubert won that title, one of three European crowns he has claimed, including this year’s title. “Jean-Christophe was not enough present in Poitiers,” Joubert said. “He was only there for 125 days per year.”
That statement was strongly denied by Simond. “Saying that was unbearable [for me to hear],” he said. “That I was in Poitiers for only four months was a true lie. I was spending seven months [there] and I can prove it.
“I really feel betrayed. In order to work with him, I had to put aside my private life (Simond's family lives in Nice, some 550 miles away). This is ugly and I don’t want to get involved in this controversy and this kind of trial. His close circle might be giving him bad advice. I believe it is their decision, not his.”
Didier Gailhaguet, the president of the French figure skating federation, was not happy with the decision to change Joubert’s free program for the 2009 World Championships. Joubert, the 2007 champion, placed third. “Changing a routine was a childish move from Brian and his coach,” Gailhaguet said. “It should have never happened and that will not be repeated in the future. That was not professional behavior.”
Joubert has had five coaching changing in the past five and a half years. Véronique Guyon-Desgardins coached Joubert for close to 15 years until September 2003. After that the revolving door of coaches started. His coaches from that point in time were: Depouilly from October 2003 until January 2005, Guyon-Desgardins from January to March 2005, Andreï Berezinstev from the summer 2005 until April 2006, Simond from the of summer 2006 until April 2009, and now Depouilly.