Adam Peaty Will Not Race FINA Champions Series, Calls it ‘Step in the Right Direction’

Olympic champion and world record holder Adam Peaty will not race in the inaugural FINA Champions Series, the British star announced Wednesday on Twitter, citing his focus on the 2019 FINA World Championships.

“I have decided not to participate in FINA‘s new Champion Series due to focussing my preparation on the World Championships and beyond,” he wrote. “However, it’s definitely a step in the right direction for the sport.”

The three-meet series will take place in Guangzhou on April 27-28, Budapest on May 11-12, and Indianapolis on May 31 – June 1, requiring significant travel.

Peaty, 24, has long been a staunch critic of swimming’s international governing body. His public feud began last summer when FINA used his image on promotional materials for the 2018 World Cup series, and implied he would attend, and Peaty called-out the organization. At the time he criticized the series, he wrote that “Maybe they need to put [the World Cup stops] at a time of year when people want to race, as well as 50/50 SC and LC (questioning emoji inserted).”

Then, in November, after FINA ruled the International Swimming League’s later-canceled Energy for Swim meet was an international meet and that the Italian federation couldn’t sanction it, Peaty signed a contract to compete – despite second-hand threats of suspension from the sport.

After signing that contract, he took a bold shot at FINA, telling the BCC: “I don’t care, ban me if you’ve got to,” and “I’m not bothered because at the end of the day they know they can’t.”

He added: “They can’t get away with it because you’ll lose all of the respect from the athletes and you can’t bully them.”

Peaty also called FINA‘s introduction of the Champions Series as an alternative to the similarly-structured ISL “embarrassing and offensive.”

Despite the Series being set to award the most prize money in FINA history, Peaty believes it’s not enough. “£4m in prize money is nothing in terms of what they’ll make off that league – they’ll make much more,” he said in the BBC report. “We need transparency and 50-50 split of the profits.”

Thus far, some other central faces of the anti-FINA movement have committed to race the series. Those who are confirmed to swim one or more stops of the series include Michael Andrew, currently suing FINA, as well as Sarah Sjostrom.

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Yozhik
1 year ago

Too much talking last year may make it difficult for Peaty to accept the invitation. Too bad. That is the best chance for him to earn really good money. He isn’t that dominant in SC and ISL’s money at the end of the season may happen to be questionable. He has to follow example of Sarah Sjostrom:
pecunia non olet
Is he that rich that doesn’t really care of this great opportunity for easy money?

IM FAN
Reply to  Yozhik
1 year ago

I think it’s more of backing up his words. He boldly called out FINA very critical (I wholeheartedly agree with he said), and while he likes seeing FINA make an effort to address his complaints, he still feels that it is very little in comparison to what they could do.

Not racing here is his way of saying “Not impressed, I know you can do more, keep trying.”

Yozhik
Reply to  IM FAN
1 year ago

Do you know how much he is giving away? Out of curiosity. He was firm with his position and was ready to go all the way in confrontation with FINA. And he got betrayed by “Energy for Swim” organizers who cancelled the meet. Now those who wanted him to be on the edge of this conflict have no problem to deal with FINA and get paid by FINA. But he… he burned bridges and has found himself in a very peculiar situation: he wants to race at FINA world championships, but cannot participate in well paid FINA’s tournaments. That is exactly the situation as I’ve described it: if you are a professional, meaning making leaving by your profession then don’t… Read more »

Yozhik
Reply to  Yozhik
1 year ago

@IM FAN: you may find Peaty’s behavior heroic and of high principles, but don’t forget that at the end it is all about money. That is a struggle for being better paid and to earn more. Under this angle Peaty is losing.

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  Yozhik
1 year ago

relaaaaaaax , Peaty knows what he is doing ….

Togger
Reply to  Yozhik
1 year ago

Not sure about finances being sufficient to incentivise him. Peaty’s a legitimate celebrity here in in the UK with multiple sponsors, all of them I expect paying him pretty large chunks of change. UK sponsors are also, generally, big on medal multiplier bonuses for Olympic type sports (something I put down to the fact, due to the City, most senior people in most businesses started out in the bonus culture of high finance). I don’t know Peaty’s deal, but I would expect it to be the same, so there is likely to be some financial incentive to focus on Worlds and Olympics too, probably outweighing the FINA cash. Racibg loads also doesn’t fit how he trains. Remember Commonwealths? The dude… Read more »

Yozhik
1 year ago

Where is our omnivorous Hosszu? Was she even invited. Has FINA forgiven and forgotten her betrayal? 😀

bear drinks beer
Reply to  Yozhik
1 year ago

Considering that she was selected as FINA female swimmer of the year after suing FINA, and that Michael Andrew also gets invited, I don’t think FINA will prevent her from participating.

bear drinks beer
Reply to  bear drinks beer
1 year ago

There was also a Hungarian source saying she was invited together with Cseh and Milak, but I’m not good at Hungarian so I’m not sure whether I understand it correctly.

Brownish
Reply to  bear drinks beer
1 year ago

As my Hungarian is pretty good, yes they were invited (we don’t know e.g. Kenderesi why not). The source is MUSZ (Hungarian Swimming Federation).

Admin
Reply to  bear drinks beer
1 year ago

I think that everyone who thinks that FINA is going to retaliate against athletes for their lawsuit has missed everything that’s happened since then. It’s clear that FINA is smart enough to know that they can’t win a battle with the athletes for the hearts of fans or advertisers or whomever it is that they care about. Their approach is to win a battle against the ISL organizers for the hearts of the fans or advertisers or whomever it is that they care about. FINA has made a lot of bad moves, they’ve done a lot of things that are probably not in the best interest of the athletes, but there’s no evidence that they are going to be actively… Read more »

Yozhik
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

But there is no participation rules like let say with FINA world championships. And I hope FINA will get smart enough not throwing big money away by paying for low quality races. That’s why they are going with this invitation process. It is based on some sort of ratings, but actually it is totally up to FINA to decide whom to give a chance to earn big money. They can and will manipulate with this leverage for political and business purposes in the future. The only problem they are facing that there would be no sufficient number of swimmers to make this competition attractive for fans and media. FINA does have this issue with world cup. So the host provides… Read more »

Brownish
Reply to  Yozhik
1 year ago

As e.g. (and much more) she has 3 golds and a 1 silver from the last Olympics they simple mustn’t do that. Please read the FINA criteria about this.
BTW Hungary is the host country of many FINA races nowadays so they can’t do that. That’s the case.

Yozhik
Reply to  Brownish
1 year ago

As Braden noted, the noisy Hosszu is a very insignificant issue for FINA to be bothered about. ISL targeting FINA’s sources of revenue that is the problem.
I was teasing about swimmer whom I dislike for selling this “iron” BS by simply competing frequently against very weak field and getting paid disproportionately high prize money for low performance races. I wasn’t intended to initiate any discussion about her relationship with FINA.
This article is about Peaty and it looks that he will be left alone with his noble principles. All other “ISL fighters” are not going to miss opportunity to get richer.

Brownish
Reply to  Yozhik
1 year ago

True, this article is about Peaty. I read all the comments above 🙂
I think he isn’t left alone he wants to stay at home and do what he always does, training and go to important European or Worldwide races. Let’s wait what he’ll do with ISL.
Sarah, Katinka, MA (fighters) and others are different.
What we can see is the period of changes in swimming habits.
You can give a concert once a year or weekly. Of course that won’t be always the same phenomenal performance and with interest.
Only you perform it daily 🙂

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Yozhik
1 year ago

“ISL fighters.” I suppose next they’ll be setting up a caliphate to overtake FINA.

Yozhik
Reply to  bear drinks beer
1 year ago

This selection of best swimmer of the year is done following some quantitative procedure defined by FINA and designed to promote world cup. For same purposes FINA stupidly invested in Hosszu for 5 years about 1.5 million dollars of prize money getting practically nothing in return. When they finally realized that they were feeding one swimmer only for mostly low quality races and changed the award calculation process decreasing Hosszu’s earnings then the later became very vocal about FINA’s corruption and not taking care about swimmers wellbeing.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Yozhik
1 year ago

For all those meets of “low quality races” for Hosszu, how many “high quality” swims were there in the entire meet? ……. I thought so.

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  Yozhik
1 year ago

“Betrayal”??? Who has in fact betrayed whom here?

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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