ISL London Summit: 11 Olympic and 18 World Champions To Discuss Swimmers’ Association

Less than five days after swimming stars Katinka HosszuMichael Andrew, and Tom Shields filed a proposed class action lawsuit against FINA for violating U.S. antitrust laws, the International Swimming League (ISL) announces a two-day summit in London December 18-19. Thirty current and former swimming champions will attend, boasting 15 Olympic titles between them. They are assembling to discuss many topics concerning the current professional swimming environment, starting with the creation of a global Swimmers’ Association.

Friction between FINA, the international governing body, and global elite swimmers has been heating up, most recently when FINA blocked ISL’s event, Energy for Swim 2018, which was supposed to be hosted in Italy later this month.

Further context:

Press and media representatives are invited to attend one of ISL meetings in London on December 19th at 10:00am.  To attend, press and media should contact [email protected] to request accreditation.


“I really believe in the International Swimming League concept. It’s exactly what the sport needs. I really believe we need to make a stand for the future of swimming. The whole sport needs to change and that’s something I’m very passionate about.” – Adam Peaty (Sunday Times, Nov 2018)

Dear Media,

A galaxy of stars, including 11 Olympic and 18 World champions from 10 of the world’s leading swimming nations, will gather at a brain-storming summit in London next week to help launch a new era for their sport.

The International Swimming League will host a two-day educational and brain-storming event at Stamford Bridge, home of Chelsea Football Club, in Fulham, London, from December 18-19. The aim is to provide athletes with “the tools to build a brighter future for their sport in a professional environment”, starting with the creation of a global Swimmers’ Association.

Having a collective voice will help the swimmers create the foundation for a better future, both during and after their sports career. This is the moment when athletes can make history as the pioneers who changed their sport for the better.

Athletes attending the event boast between them 15 Olympic titles, more than double that number of World titles and hundreds of international podium honours. They include 30 current stars and retired former champions Lenny Krayzelburg (4-times Olympic gold medalist and former world record holder), Jason Lezak (8-times Olympic medalist, with 4 Olympic gold medals), Mark Foster and Peter Mankoc, two of the biggest names in the history of short-course swimming.

Press and media representatives are invited to attend one of our meetings on December 19th at 10:00 AM. MP Tracey Crouch will be among those there to witness what athletes have to say about the future of their sport.

To attend, please contact [email protected] and request accreditation.

The League, led by financier Konstantin Grigorishin, intends to launch a swimming series of professional team matches starting from next year. Efforts to establish the League have so far been blocked by FINA, the international federation threatening suspensions, but waves of world-class swimmers, led by reigning Olympic champions Adam Peaty, Katinka Hosszu, Sarah Sjostrom, Ryan Murphy, and Cameron van der Burgh alongside with Michael Andrew, and Thomas Shields, have urged the global body that insists on monopoly rule to think again.

While global sport is a lucrative business worth billions and swimming and swimmers generates hundreds of millions in revenue for FINA, swimmers work and compete as professionals but have, as Grigorishin puts it, “no salary, social guarantees, no welfare, no medical and life insurance, no pension rights”.

The League has pledged to change all that, starting with the creation of a Professional Swimmers Association that will represent athletes to build a fair partnership with regulators and event organizers, the welfare of swimmers and their rights to earn a living from their work paramount.

The ISL believes that the swimmer should have a priority say in all decisions that affect them and the development of their sport.

Beyond the world-class swimmers listed with this release, we are also extending an invitation to any elite swimmers who wish to attend the event at Stamford Bridge: your support will show your peers in the pool, swim fans, the media, the sponsors, and the swimming governing bodies, national and international, that you have an opinion and you are ready to voice it for yourself, your future teammates and the values of your sport.

RSVP as soon as possible:

LOCATION Millennium & Copthorne Hotels at Chelsea Football Club
Stamford Bridge, Fulham Rd, Fulham, London SW6 1HS, UK

19 December, 10:00 – 12:00
[email protected]

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Athletes Expected at the London Summit

Federica Pellegrini

Gregorio Paltrinieri

Luca Dotto

Adam Peaty

Siobhan O’Connor

Dylan Carter

Josh Prenot

Kendyl Stewart

Ryan Murphy

Tom Shields

Gunnar Bentz 

Lia Neal

Mark Szaranek

Michael Andrew

Katinka Hosszu

Peter Mankoc

Madeline Groves

Cameron van der Burgh

Chad Le Clos

Emily Seebohm

Femke Heermskerk

Georgia Davies

James Guy

Max Litchfield

Sarah Sjostrom

Ben Proud

Misha Romanchuk

Lenny Krayzelburg

Jason Lezak

Fabio Scozzoli

Mark Foster

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SUM Ting Wong
4 years ago

Chelsea the home of Grigoriishin’s fellow Oligarch Abromovitch . What is not to like about this – Finexit right smack in the middle of Brexit .!

Reply to  Brownish
4 years ago

Thank you for sharing here. .

Reply to  Gold Medal Mel Stewart
4 years ago


4 years ago

Whoa. I really hope they can pull it off and knock FINA off its high horse. Change can only come when enough of these swimmers especially the big name stars come together and demand change. I don’t understand why there can only be the one body. Especially when that one body isn’t doing enough for the swimmers.

running start to touch backstroke flags
4 years ago

This post is fantastic. Thanks for helping build this movement, SwimSwam. More pressure, more word of more, more exposure…