Former Hungarian Swimming Association president Tamas Gyarfas, arrested this week on suspicion of ordering the murder of a media rival in 1998, will have his status as an International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) award winner reviewed after the legal system runs its course, the organization told SwimSwam on Thursday. Gyarfas, who before his time as an administrator spent 40 years working in the media, was awarded the 2010 Schoenfield Media Award by the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
Brent Rutemiller, CEO of the ISHOF, told SwimSwam that they rely on the legal system and governing bodies to investigate these sorts of accusations, and then take action after those processes have concluded.
The ISHOF statement is below:
The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) is an educational, not-for-profit organization that operates a museum, conducts educational programs that promote swimming and water safety, and honors individuals who have achieved at the highest levels in the aquatic sports as athletes, coaches and administrators.The ISHOF relies upon the legal system (civil and criminal), national and international governing bodies along with organizations responsible for registering, certifying and disciplining coaches, athletes, and honorees to make determinations regarding allegations of criminal and unethical behavior of inducteesinto the ISHOF.For the reasons stated above, we remain reliant upon and confident in the legal system to gather evidence and make determinations in a way that ensures constitutionally guaranteed due process protection for all parties involved. If and when we are presented with substantial or compelling evidence, a determination, a criminal charge and conviction, judgment or admission of guilt, our Board of Directors will consider all options within our means and resources that will enable us to maintain the integrity of our Hall of Fame.
His career saw him work as a “journalist, writer, author, publisher, television producer, volunteer and sport administrator,” his ISHOF bio reads. He began reporting on swimming in 1972 and spent over a decade as the editor of International Swimming and Water Polo Magazine. Since 1989, he has been the owner and president of NAP TV in Hungary and the publisher of Sport Plusz Newspaper. He also served as Editor in Chief of LEN Magazine and FINA Aquatics World Magazine.
His other duties included serving as General Secretary of the International Sports Journalists Association from 1993 to 1997.
The most recent example of a removal of an individual from the Hall’s lists of honorees came in 2014. Then, Chuck Wielgus, the former CEO of USA Swimming, withdrew himself from the International Swimming Hall of Fame after the hall faced pressure from the Women’s Sports Foundation, among others, over his involvement in the cover-up of sexual abuse by USA Swimming members.
The ISHOF still recognizes members of the East German swimming teams of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s who are known to have doped, though it has added notes on the topic to their biographies. That decision was explained here.