FINA Communications Department

Following meetings in London this week involving the International Swimming League (ISL), FINA is pleased to correct a number of inaccuracies and to clarify its position in several key areas:

FINA welcomes comments by all athletes with regard to the constant improvement in the quality of FINA events, notably our World Championships. FINA is at the service of all aquatics competitors and such comments are a source of motivation for which we are grateful.
 
There is always scope for improvement in FINA’s engagement with athletes; for instance the proposals to change the FINA Constitution at the first available opportunity (the 2019 FINA General Congress in Gwangju, Korea) will include the direct election of the Athletes Committee, by the athletes participating in FINA events. The chair of the Athletes Committee is already a member of the FINA Bureau. He or she will become a voting member. Furthermore, Athletes Committee members will have voting rights at the General Congress.

“Supporting swimmers has been my life’s work,” said FINA President Dr Julio C. Maglione. “Fortunately, besides my personal contacts with our Stars, we also have formal mechanisms for incorporating athlete feedback. And we will look for new ways to make even further improvements, because this is our way”.

The allegation that FINA would have requested a $50 million fee from the ISL is incorrect. This was the ISL’s initial proposal.  

FINA’s careful financial management has already seen it ensure a winning model for the future of aquatics that includes massively increased prize purses for athletes, up more than 500% in ten years. FINA’s approach has demonstrated prudence, including the establishment of necessary reserves to withstand the unforeseen cancellation of a major event, thus guaranteeing sustainability.

FINA’s approach has also demonstrated a substantial ambition, with significant increases in development funds now available: FINA aims to increase the number of member federations having athletes qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (with either an A or a B standard time). This initiative notably includes direct financial support to promising swimmers, in order that they may benefit from scholarship programmes.

As to the issue of alleged athlete bans resulting from participation in unsanctioned events, FINA merely stated that results achieved in competitions for which approval and sanction were not duly sought and obtained would not be recognised. No approval was duly sought for the event announced in Turin. The decision to cancel it was made by the Italian Swimming Federation and ISL, which was presented merely as a sponsor.