FINA has reportedly invalidated the times posted at the Uzbekistan Open Swimming Championship, following allegations that the times were altered to help swimmers qualify for the Olympic Games.
The allegations first surfaced in late April, less than a week after the Championships occurred. They were presented in a 10 minute long video created by Indian swimmer Likith Selvaraj Prema, who competed at the meet.
Within the video, Prema utilized race videos to display the basis for his allegations. A detailed description of the video can be found here.
Several other Uzbekistan swimmers also came forward with video evidence, supporting Prema’s claims.
Following Prema’s allegations, the Uzbekistan Swimming Federation noted some technical errors in the timing system during the meet. However, the federation declared the allegations “unfounded and unsubstantiated.”
FINA was then involved in the investigation, with the governing body removing the times posted at the competition from its database of logged swims. FINA has now permanently removed all of the times from its database, as they have all been invalidated with the competition. It is unclear if the Uzbekistan Swimming Federation will face any penalties as a result of the investigation.
“It is a good step taken by FINA. It also shows the power of an athlete. Others should also stand up if there is some cheating in the sport. The system (people involved) will think twice before they cheat,” said Prema following the announcement.