FINA President Maglione Speaks In Favor of Removing Age Limit Of Its Members, Including Himself

Retta Race
by Retta Race 7

April 29th, 2015

Back in March of this year, SwimSwam reported that the FINA Executive Bureau proposed an amendment deleting the maximum age rule of elected FINA members, including the role of President.

Current rules state that the maximum age of elected Bureau members ‘must be no more than eighty (80) years in the year of the election to the FINA Bureau’.  Incumbent, FINA President, Julio César Maglione, is in the midst of his second term, which runs until 2017 when he will be the age of 81.

In an exclusive new report, Inside the Games quotes Maglione as in support of the proposed rule change, which could go into effect as early as July during the FINA Extraordinary Congress meeting in Kazan.  “Because one thing is age; another is the biological situation of each person”, Maglione is quoted as saying in response to why the Bureau wanted removal of the age restriction.  He continued, “Most federations don’t have an age limit.  Maybe we don’t put a limit of age for me….I don’t know.  We need to see if the federation approves or not.”

Additionally, when questions were broadened to include recent criticism of FINA by the global swimming community, Maglione responded, “For me, the important thing is what the national federations want.  Others are free to say what they want.”  When asked about overall global FINA backing, Maglione indicated that he “thinks” national bodies support him.

Maglione’s stance is seen as the epitome of hypocrisy by some within the world’s swimming community.  Lawrie Cox, Secretary of the Oceania Swimming Association and former Australian Delegate to FINA Congress (2009-11), points to history, saying “the campaign made by those supporting Julio Maglione [for FINA President in 2009] was based on not allowing a President to hold office in the future for more than two consecutive terms.”  Cox also indicates that, at the time, it was made clear by Maglione’s proponents that he would only “serve one term and enable a hand over in 2013 to new blood.”  In summary, Cox exclaims, “Time to go Julio and take the Bureau members who supported the proposed amendments with you.”

John Leonard, World Swim Coaches Association (WSCA) Executive Director further echoes these same sentiments. “While a DISCUSSION of the age of FINA Bureau members is entirely relevant”, Leonard declares, “the deletion of Age Limits completely is a blatant attempt to protect the aging President of FINA, now in his 8th decade. Worse, the current President came to office initially on a campaign to create an age limit (which removed his most serious competition in his first election…). Now, the same man expects us to remove the age limit that he applied, because he wants to continue to serve beyond the current age limit!”

Laying out the chronology of what Leonard calls a “fake democracy”, he explains that at the time Maglione was seeking a second term, Maglione “promised he would serve no more than two terms….And of course in his first term, he promised to serve no more than ONE term! We can expect this to change again in 2021, when he wants to serve a FOURTH term.”

Note, if the Board does indeed decide to remove the age limit restrictions, we could be seeing Maglione as FINA President through a third term, which would run until 2021.

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Joel Lin
5 years ago

What will it take for the IOC to get rid of these clowns and to sanction a new federation for swimming? Where do I begin? FINA is a private federation which employs 32 people, 11 of them part time, in Switzerland. They are the cash register at every international swimming event but do not publish any financials or answer to anyone save for the IOC which for reasons no one can devine doesn’t care to press on. They afford us some cute bits of transparency…they dish out $2 million in prize money a year, they do take a$400 a day per diem for travel but do not take salaries. So where does all the money go? No answer. I… Read more »

Gina Rhinestone
5 years ago

The other one is WADA . Since inception its Head Honchos have been from not only Anglo English speaking countries but 3/5 of The Five Eyes , one of the world’s foremost spy/ intelligence sharing outfits . First it was that IOC buffoon from Canada , then an Australian politician ( ex state premier) with no sport background at all & nowadays some House of Lords freak . Who the heck put them there & yes all of them ‘ voluntary’ .So this unrepresentative unaccountable unit controls all of world sport & demands money from governments . Next they too , will wanting their own armies . Let us hope FINA & WADA are not like the IMF with their… Read more »

David Berkoff
5 years ago

This is the same old same old and it starts at home. When I first was elected back to the USAS Board in 2010, Carol Zaleski announced that she would step down after her FINA term was over so that “new blood” could take over leadership roles for our federation. Then as her term was ending in 2012 she announced that “Cornel had literally begged her” to run for another term to which only a handful of the board members objected. Now I hear that Carol is running for yet another term on FINA. While carol certainly has done some great things for USAS when is this organization ever going to deal with the paralysis of its so-called institutional knowledge.… Read more »

Joel Lin
5 years ago

Thank you David.

There must be a good buck in this racket with people fighting so hard to stay in.