FINA has released a statement following the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s (CAS) decision to reject the Uzbekistan Swimming Federation’s appeal for certification of the times from the Uzbekistan Open.
In the statement, FINA acknowledged CAS’s decision and announced that an Ethics Panel would be conducting a further investigation into the meet in order to determine if further sanctions against the Uzbekistan Swimming Federation are necessary.
CAS rejected the federation’s appeal following FINA’s own decision to invalidate the times from the Uzbekistan Open. At the meet back in April, several Uzbekistanian swimmers earned FINA A and B times to qualify for the 2021 Olympic Games. However, Indian swimmer Likith Selvaraj Prema later published a video accusing the federation of falsifying the times, citing multiple instances throughout the competition. Prema also claimed that the meet hosts attempted to silence his allegations. Several other Uzbek swimmers later stepped forward to support Prema’s claims, resulting in the subsequent investigation and invalidation.
All times from the competition have since been pulled from all FINA databases and there is no further record of the meet occurring.
At the time of the original invalidation, we reached out to the Uzbekistan Swimming Federation, but have not received a response. However, the federation has previously described the accusations as “unfounded”.
Full FINA Press Release
“FINA acknowledges the award of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rejecting the Uzbekistan Swimming Federation’s appeal against the FINA Executive’s decision not to recognise certain results from the Uzbekistan Open Swimming Cup, held between 24-29 November 2020 and the Uzbekistan Open Swimming Championships, held between 13-17 April 2021.
The FINA Executive’s decision was made after receiving evidence establishing that certain results from these two events had been manipulated by the Uzbekistan Swimming Federation in an attempt to qualify Uzbek swimmers for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Following this CAS award, the FINA Ethics Panel will now investigate whether further sanctions should be imposed on the Uzbekistan Swimming Federation and any other implicated party.
It is imperative that FINA recognise aquatics competitions to ensure that the results are not manipulated, that the results are valid and reliable, and that the competitions comply with the standards set out in the FINA rules. FINA cannot accept a lessor standard.
Any attempt to manipulate results will be punished according to the relevant FINA rules. Put simply, FINA will not stand for any forms of cheating or event manipulation.
FINA would also like to thank the whistleblowers for their courage in reporting this nefarious behaviour.”