FINA Memo: Discussions Ongoing With Energy Standard & ISL

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.

Further context:

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,

Cornel MARCULESCU
FINA Executive Director

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50free

“FINA will resist any challenges to its status as the governing body of swimming.” At least they are admitting the care about power and are afraid of losing it.

Yozhik

What do you think Energy Standard Group cares about? Money. And they won’t get it being out of power. Under this angle both FINA and Energy Standard Group are two of a kind. The way how pro swimming is going to be depends completely on pro swimmers and their relationships with national associations. Until they give up on FINA’s world championships and most likely on Olympic Games (IOC won’t accept them if not through FINA) there would be no win situation. They should do what tennis players did. But I’m not sure they are ready for that yet. Relationships within national associations are even more complicated. There are plenty of political, cultural and traditional ties that are not easy to… Read more »

Jambo Sana

FINA needs to understand that they need to continually earn the right to work for the athletes, not the other way around. What a shame the way they allowed Russian athletes to compete in Rio despite being exposed as instituting a systematic program of cheating.

Performance enhancing drugs is not a victimless crime. How many innocent athletes were denied Olympic Medals because of Russian drug cheats? Who got 4th in the woman’s 100M and 200M breaststroke where 2x drug cheat Yuliya Efimova stole their medals. Imagine getting up early and training 5,000 times to get 4th behind a Russian drug cheat. Imagine the sacrifices made by the athlete and athlete’s family only to be cheated by a Russian drug cheat.

Coach Josh

[Marculescu writes that FINA’s “main consideration is always for the swimmers, coaches and National Federations,”]

This is a flat out lie. If this were true they would have let the meet happen and realized this was an amazing step for popularizing the sport and allowing more swimmers to make a legitimate living as a professional athlete.

They prioritize their own power much more than Athletes, Coaches, National Federations and The Sport of Swimming.

straightblackline

I agree entirely. The statement that “our main goal is to protect the swimmers’ rights and opportunities” almost had me choking. Swimmers have a right to earn some reward for all their hard work and to deny them that opportunity smacks of self-preservation by FINA and is anti-competitive and therefore unlawful in most Western jurisdictions.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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