With the spotlight on swimming’s international governing body, FINA, after recent doping scandals involving Russian and Chinese swimmers, the organization is taking steps to address any gaps in its anti-doping procedures.
A two-fold approach is being implemented in the lead-up to this summer’s Olympic Games, both with the goal of revealing whether improvements at FINA are needed to continue to combat dopers within the sport of swimming. All told, FINA is reportedly spending up to $2 million on anti-doping procedures in 2016, which represents an approximate $1 million increase from the norm.
An unnamed independent expert who was previously involved in the case of Lance Armstrong, the 7-time Tour de France cyclist who later admitted to doping for years, has been appointed as auditor of FINA’s anti-doping procedures. The expert will report back to FINA on August 5th any findings rendered from the audit.
Additionally during this time, a consulting company is set to review the management and operations of FINA to see “to see how we are doing on governance and transparency”, FINA Executive Director Cornel Marculescu told Around the Rings. Any recommendations generated form that separate review will be brought before the 2017 FINA Congress session.
As for his mentality on the doping situation overall, Marculescu told the media this week that, “I think it’s a war we will never win but it’s a battle we will win here and there for sure. We have cases and we are continuing to look at them.”
He did comment that, “I don’t think today from what I know we are faced with systematic doping.”
“We continue to do our program as strongly as possible. We spend whatever money is necessary to spend and we apply our rules without any kind of limitation,” Marculescu stated.