FINA has finally made public comment on the cancelled Energy for Swim 2018 event, blaming ‘short notice’ for the event’s demise.
“The project of the Italian Swimming Federation to organise a swimming competition in Turin at short notice did not meet all the necessary FINA rulebook requirements,” FINA said in a press release today. “Changes to the calendar, received on short notice, are not consistent with FINA’s long-standing agreements and precedents, and undermine existing high-level competitions.”
The latter line suggests part of the problem could be the Energy for Swim event’s proximity in calendar to FINA’s Short Course World Championships, one of the “existing high-level competitions” FINA references.
On the other hand, meet organizers have told SwimSwam that they spent more than a year trying to get the meet approved by FINA, something that contradicts FINA’s complaint that the meet was organized on short notice.
The FINA statement also defends its own amount of prize money, touting a $38 million budget “allocated for different projects in the four-year cycle 2018-2021.”
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FINA’s full statement is below. We have contacted FINA with multiple requests for comment, and outside of this statement, have received no response to our specific questions.
FINA would like to underline that respect for its rules—concerning the establishment of a coherent international calendar, the protection of athletes’ rights, and the development of the sport’s structure and organisation—are of paramount importance for the promotion and popularity of our six disciplines on a global scale.
As the world governing body for aquatic sports, FINA takes great pride in its proven ability to deliver events of the highest quality for swimmers from all over the world. Coordinating events in order to ensure a coherent competition calendar adds an extra level of complexity and this is a key criterion for FINA’s sanctioning of international competitions.
The project of the Italian Swimming Federation to organise a swimming competition in Turin at short notice did not meet all the necessary FINA rulebook requirements. These requirements are in place to ensure that international competitions provide the best possible conditions to all participating athletes while maintaining a healthy calendar.
The FINA competition calendar has evolved over many years through the active participation and collaboration of the National Federations. Changes to the calendar, received on short notice, are not consistent with FINA’s long-standing agreements and precedents, and undermine existing high-level competitions.
Aquatics athletes are at the core of FINA’s activities. They fully deserve all our respect for their effort and their devotion to the sport we all love. In recent years, FINA has been actively increasing recognition for athletes’ efforts at FINA events, by raising the prize money for those competitions, and by providing their respective National Federations additional tools for progress under our Development Programme.
On prize money, FINA can recall the 2017 edition of its World Championships in Budapest (HUN), where US$ 5.8 million were distributed to the best athletes, and the upcoming FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), where US$ 2.1 million will award the top swimmers in the competition. Concerning FINA’s Development Programme, the budget allocated for the different projects in the four-year cycle 2018-2021 will ascend to US$ 38 million.
FINA will continue developing appropriate business platforms to provide an attractive calendar of events, with the participation of the best athletes. Moreover, we continue welcoming any positive approach by a partner or sponsor to improve the value of the Aquatic disciplines.