ISL Informs Athletes That War in Ukraine Will Delay Monday’s Solidarity Payment

Updated with ISL Comments:

The International Swimming League (ISL) informed athletes on Monday that a Solidarity Payment scheduled to be sent out today has been delayed because of the “sudden onset of war in Ukraine.”

“…the League has been unable (to) transfer the sums which were allotted for the solidarity payments to the bank accounts of your respective Clubs for distribution,” the email reads.

The league’s founder and primary financier Konstantin Grigorishin was born in the USSR and acquired Ukrainian citizenship in 2016. Most of the billionaire’s business holdings are located in Ukraine, and he has also made money via the import of energy and natural resources from Russia. In 2018, he was one of 322 Ukrainian citizens that the Russian Federation imposed sanctions against.

Prior to the outbreak of war, the league said that the conflict wouldn’t impact funding of future seasons.

“Solidarity payments,” essentially the swimmers’ base salary, for the ISL in Season 3 were set at $7,500 total, which was half of what they were a season prior.

While this is not the first time that the ISL has missed payments, one athlete said that the communication was more open than it has been in the past.

“This is of course regrettable, and we do not want to belittle the impact that this may have on yourselves, and we are sorry for this,” the letter continued. “Sadly, this force majeure event is out of our immediate control whilst the situation in Ukraine continues to unfold.”

The league said that while they could not provide any immediate answers to athletes, they promised an update “as soon as (they) can.”

One athlete, Aly Tetzloff of the Tokyo Frog Kings, took to social media in her reaction, criticizing both the ISL and the Swimmers’ Alliance that is supposed to represent athletes, but in reality that is funded by the same people as the league.

She says that the failure to make timely payments has impacted her day to day life and that she struggles to stay in the sport from season to season. She also claims that athletes on the better teams have been paid, while those on lower-ranking teams have not. She says that, in spite of her team racing its last meet on October 4, she has not received a single solidarity payment.

Tetzloff says she also hasn’t received any prize money or any other payments for Season 3. Athletes were told that solidarity payments were supposed to be made in 5 monthly installments beginning October 31, 2021, but she says so far, none have been made.

Aly Tetzloff Instagram Posts about the ISL

Aly Tetzloff Instagram Posts about the ISL

Tetzloff, a sprint butterflier and freestyler, scored 69.5 points for the Frog Kings last season in 5 matches, averaging almost 14 points per match.

The issue of timely payments, both to athletes and vendors, has been ongoing for the league, even prior to the war in Ukraine.

The league assured athletes that they are moving forward with planning for Season 4, which is currently scheduled to run from June through December in the league’s most ambitious schedule yet.

The ISL had limited information to share when contacted by SwimSwam, but said that they are “Working on alternative solutions and the League remains committed to this as its foremost priority.”

“We have been working even before this crisis to ensure that Season 4 is insulated from the impact of what’s happening in Ukraine, and it is still going ahead,” the league office said.

The fighting in Ukraine continued on Monday as representatives of Russia and Ukraine convened in Belarus for talks to end the fighting.



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2 years ago

This is it, ISL. Rest in peace.

For the books: Ukraine is still active part of “Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication” (SWIFT) and there are absolutely no problems to send money around the world. At least if you want to…

For all FINA’s shortcomings – but at least they pay the swimmers.

2 years ago

“Inventing Konstantin”. It’s such a shame when you delay something for four months and JUST when you’re about to do it, war breaks out. It’s almost a little TOO convenient.

2 years ago

Ahh, the swimming community’s Tinder Swindler.

2 years ago

Guess it rlly wasn’t meant to be

2 years ago

Well this pretty much confirms that Konstantin Grigorishin’s fortune has been affected by the war and may not survive it

RIP ISL. It was a decent try.

In a twisted sense I find it hilarious that the downfall of the ISL somehow wasn’t any of it’s gross incompetence but simply just the random happenings of the world.

This may be good for the sport though. I feel like the Global Association for Professional Swimmers has been held back by having to stand with the ISL simply as the only alternative to FINA. FINA also had an easy excuse to ignore the organization due to it’s ties to the ISL.

There are many opportunities that will come from the… Read more »

2 years ago

Good bye ISL. Nice experiment while it lasted

This guy
2 years ago

I’m sorry but it is not a good look if a billionaire with assets all around the world isn’t able to come up with chump change to pay athletes.
Come on

This guy
Reply to  Braden Keith
2 years ago

Totally agree and well put. And I get that it is it’s own business and things would run through it and not his personal fortune. Just a shame to see a promising league falter even further into what we can safely assume is an extremely dire situation. I truly hope I am wrong

2 years ago

Is that you, Anna Delvey?

Former Coach
Reply to  DMSWIM
2 years ago

The wire is on the way, obvi

Reply to  Former Coach
2 years ago

I’m building a business and you’re being stingy and complaining about money. Stop being basic and petty!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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