World swim body ends threat to ban breakaway meet athletes

Combined Shape

GENEVA (AP) — In a standoff about the right of swimmers to compete for improved prize money, governing body FINA on Tuesday lifted its threat to ban those taking part in independently run competitions.

FINA has been criticized in recent weeks by top swimmers who want more say in how their sport is run and more opportunities to be financially rewarded.

Olympic and world champions filed an antitrust suit in California last month after FINA’s threats to ban swimmers who competed in a December meeting linked to the proposed International Swimming League.

“FINA acknowledges that swimmers are free to participate in competitions or events staged by independent organizers,” the Switzerland-based swim body said after consulting with national federations.

However, results and records will be unofficial if ISL organizers fail to get FINA’s approval, including fitting into the official events calendar and running an approved doping control program.

Trending:
Facebook Oversight Board Member Goes Rogue, Eviscerates the Social Media Platform: 'Their Rules Are in Shambles'

FINA has countered the ISL with a proposed three-meet series starting in March and paying $3.9 million in prize money. It also topped up the prize fund by almost $1 million for the short-course world championships held in China last month.

Conflict between FINA and swimmers increased before the scheduled privately run meeting in December in Turin, Italy. It was canceled amid the threatened bans.

“ISL takes swimmers seriously, not like FINA,” Hungarian swim great Katinka Hosszu said in December, joining American swimmers Tom Shields and Michael Andrew in filing the class action suit in California.

The proposed ISL also filed a separate suit against FINA in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. It is backed by Moscow-based businessman Konstantin Grigorishin, who met a group of top swimmers in London last month.

In a similar case, Dutch speedskaters won a European Commission ruling in Brussels in 2017 against the Swiss-based International Skating Union. They had wanted to compete in a South Korean-organized event in Dubai but were threatened with bans.

The revised FINA policy followed advice from its legal counsel, Francois Carrard, who is a key International Olympic Committee adviser after being its long-time director general.

“FINA’s business is not to punish athletes,” Carrard said in the FINA statement. “FINA recognizes the right of athletes to participate in any swimming event. However, this participation should respect the frame of sport structure.”

___

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →






We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




Conversation