FINA’s Marculescu: “Doping Is A War We Will Never Win”

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 RingsAny 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.



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Victor P

FINA, the IOC, the same organizations that to this day have yet to overturn official results for Olympics wherein the winners were later found to have been cheating at the time they won their medals – is their word worth much?

David Berkoff

With a quitter’s attitude like this coming from our “leadership” it’s no wonder we are still dealing with this crap.


Not that I’m the biggest believer in FINA’s leadership, and I’ll admit when I saw the headline I sarcastically thought “that’s the spirit…”, but realistically, there will always be people looking for new ways to cheat. Beyond the headline, he says people are always gonna try, but that FINA will win this round. I’m not saying he’s the greatest guy in the world by any means, but this particular statement seems reasonable to me.


Then maybe they should do the rational thing and end the war on doping in professional sports. Pumping millions of dollars every year into a losing battle is absurd.


Should we give up on all laws that we pour Billions of dollars into upholding (somewhat)? Let people murder, swindle, destroy whatever they want? I can’t help but feel like there is some faulty logic here.


Right, because performance enhancement, which happens regardless of laws and should just be regulated to improve safety, is totally on the same level as murder, swindling, and destruction. False equivalence fallacy.


athletes will still cross any lines that are set up when you try to “regulate” performance enhancing drugs. just look at the 50 percent hematocrit limit that used to exist in cycling as an example.


You can quibble with my examples, but it seems you are trying to avoid the point – It is the same concept.

But for the sake of eliminating your version of false equivalence: Use any other area that rules are created to ensure a level playing field/safety. Regulation of industries, licensing operations, NCAA recruiting rules – which are all very equivalent to drug testing of athletes… should those rules be thrown out too?


1. Use of PEDs is a personal choice and really doesn’t affect anyone else. Excessive consumption of alcohol is more dangerous, yet legal.
2. Drug testing still accomplishes next to nothing. If anything, it makes the playing field less even. Some get caught, most don’t.

It’s still false equivalence.

M Palota

There’s a saying I like and it goes that “the enemy of good is perfect”. Just because something isn’t perfect doesn’t mean that it isn’t good. And to abandon something that is good because it isn’t perfect doesn’t make sense, at least not to me.

Doping control in sport is not perfect, not by any means. It is good, though, and it does at least partially level the playing field and protect the athletes.

About Loretta Race

Loretta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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