A FINA memo yesterday noted that the federation is “engaged in discussions” with the Energy Standard Group and the International Swimming League (ISL), but that FINA will “resist any challenges to its status” as the international governing body for swimming.
As we previously informed you,” writes FINA Executive Director Cornel Marculescu, “we have been engaged in discussions with Energy Standard Group/ISL in order to find an agreement which would serve the interests of all parties concerned, in particular, the swimmers of the world.
Marculescu writes that FINA’s “main consideration is always for the swimmers, coaches and National Federations,” but also makes clear that “FINA will resist any challenges to its status as the international nongovernmental organisation governing the sport of swimming at the world level.”
The memo is the next chapter in an ongoing struggle between FINA and the ISL, an organization that hopes to organize a series of meets focuses on spectator enjoyment and athlete compensation, but that some view as a potential rival to FINA as the world’s governing body for swimming. The ISL tried to organize a meet in December that they say FINA refused to recognize. Then, ISL officials helped create a meet with a similar format, only hosted by the Italian Swimming Federation and funded by the Energy Standard Group. A last-minute rule interpretation by FINA left that meet unapproved, with athletes staring down bans of up to two years for competing. The Italian Federation canceled the meet, but meet organizers termed the move a “postponement,” with a similar format meet potentially being rescheduled down the road.
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You can view Marculescu’s full letter here, or below:
Dear FINA Family Members,
As we previously informed you, we have been engaged in discussions with Energy Standard Group/ISL in order to find an agreement which would serve the interests of all parties concerned, in particular, the swimmers of the world. In order to avoid any misunderstanding and to prevent any misinterpretation of the situation, we will continue to provide timely updates to the FINA Family on this matter.
We want you to know that as far as FINA is concerned our main consideration is always for the swimmers, coaches and National Federations. The harmonious development of the calendar is critical to achieving this consideration. It must be clear, meanwhile, that FINA will resist any challenges to its status as the international nongovernmental organisation governing the sport of swimming at the world level, as provided by the Olympic Charter.
Therefore, we hereby ask you to inform all your members that our main goal is to protect the swimmers’ rights and opportunities, and to ensure full compliance with all applicable rules of FINA be ensured by all those concerned.
Thanking you for your cooperation and looking forward to meeting you at the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Hangzhou.
With best regards,
FINA Executive Director