FINA Implements New Harassment and Abuse Protection Ruleset

FINA announced the implementation of its “Rules on the Protection from Harassment and Abuse” on Friday, with the new organizational standards put into full effect after receiving approval by the FINA Bureau on June 5.

The rules greatly expand on Article V.B.2 of the FINA Code of Ethics, which states: “All forms of harassment, be they physical, psychological, professional or sexual, are strictly prohibited.”

Now, the 14-page document details all of the specific forms of “Forbidden Conduct,” along with the procedure in how to report infractions and any potential investigations.

“In its fundamental mission to create and preserve a sport environment that ensures a positive, healthy and fulfilling experience for all participants in its events, FINA believes these Rules are the foundation for athlete safety, well-being and prevention of harassment and abuse,” the organization said in a press release.

“Based on this principle, this document defines misconduct; creates standards that set boundaries between professional and athlete members; mandatory reporting; establishes a structure for investigation of complaints and their underlying circumstances; and promotes greater accountability and compliance. Moreover, these new Rules are in harmony with the 2016 International Olympic Committee Consensus Statement on ‘Harassment and Abuse in Sport’.”

FINA adds that all Member Federations must adopt similar regulations or incorporate them into their own standards “in order to create an harmonised worldwide implementation” of the rules.

In order to do this, FINA will organize live sessions on its learning platform and will develop resources such as toolkits and model rules to assist the federations.

“As stated in my inaugural speech in Doha, we must focus our attention on the interests of our athletes and in the protection of their integrity,” added FINA President Husain Al-Musallam. “The health and safety of our athletes is paramount in our strategy.”

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About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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