In Briefs: Tahiti Considering Change of Status; Egerszegi Honored; Chinese Swimmers Come Up Clean

…The Hungarian Swimming Federation announced today that former 5-time Olympic champion Krisztina Egerszegi had been honored with the Hungarian Order of Saint Stephen. This honor, founded in 1764 by Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, and is named after the country’s most famous king: Stephen I who ruled from 997-1038. Egerszegi is one of the greatest swimmers of her, or any generation, and was only the second person ever to win the same event at three-straight summer Olympics, in the 200 back, with her first victory coming at just 14 years, 41 days which made her the youngest ever female Olympic swimming champion (until Kyoko Iwasaki won the 200 breast in 1992 at 14 years, 6 days). In addition to her 5 Olympic golds from 1988-1996, she also won 2 World Championships and 9 European Championships. Originally given only to nobles who could show four generations of proper lineage, the award was revived in 1938 and is now given for “civil merit.”

Michel Sommers, president of the Tahitian Swimming Federation, gave an interview in a local paper on Tuesday (read here in French), and among the topics he discussed was Tahiti’s status as an independent FINA federation. Specifically, Sommers spoke of the possibility of competing as “Tahiti” in the Pacific Games, but swimming under the French flag at the World Championships. Tahiti is part of French Polynesia, and compete as part of the French team at the Olympics, but similar to other federations like the Faroe Islands, compete independently in swimming competitions. The organization is currently trying to decide and disect the framework of FINA rules and see how the organization can best be structured to maintain their focus on the Pacific Games, which Sommers calls their focus event, and what the possible fallout is for events like the World Championships. Their neighbors New Caledonia are an example: they compete under France at the World Championships, but under New Caledonia at the Pacific Games.  A few Tahitians have cracked the French roster in the past; that includes Diane Lacombe, who at only 15 years old qualified to represent France in the 100 backstroke at the 1992 Summer Olympics…

…According to China’s anti-doping authorities, eight Chinese athletes have tested positive for banned substances in the 2nd quarter of 2013, which is being viewed as a direct link to the upcoming National Games, which for many are equal to, or exceed, even the Olympics in importance and prestige. The Chinese Anti-Doping Agency notes that significantly, one of these athletes for the first time was caught by use of the blood passport program, which monitors levels of different hormones in blood over time, and that the number of positive tests in 2013 has already, through 6 months, matched the total from all of 2012. The Chinese National Games are a multi-sport event that pit athletes from the different provinces against each other. The athlete caught by the blood passport program was top marathon runner Wang Jiali…

…The good news for swimming is that after a whopping 640 tests in the 2nd quarter, not a single one came back as positive among swimmers. The 12th National Games, held this year in Liaoning from August 31st through September 12th, will include 350 events in 31 sports, including swimming. The positive tests came in track & field, canoe, boxing, and bodybuilding. No swimmers were tested by blood in competition (track & field was the only sport China hit with such tests in the 2nd quarter), but did have 54 blood tests out-of-competition. The full report can be seen here, in Chinese.

Thanks to Jeff Peters, a sophomore swimmer at the University of the Pacific, for helping us translate the Chinese doping results, along with all of the others who reached out. Jeff explains:

 The third table second row (游泳)is a list of the number of swimmers tested.  尿=urine test 血= blood test.  The first section in the 3rd table (赛内检查) were those who were tested in competition.  The second (赛外检查)were those tested out of competition. The third section is the combined results.
those who tested positive were : track and field (田径), canoe (皮划艇), boxing (拳击), and bodybuilding (健美)

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7 years ago

I believe that Diane Bui-Duyet who (if I´m not mistaken) currently holds the 100 fly SCM world record in the 100m fly is New Caledonian. If they changed their affiliation the way Tahiti wants to do, would the record still be listed as belonging to France, or to New Caledonia?

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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