Julio Maglione Re-Elected as FINA President

FINA, the world governing body for 6 aquatic disciplines including swimming, has re-elected Julio Maglione as the president of the federation. He was elected over Italian Paolo Barelli, the president of the European federation, in the conclusion of what became a heated, controversial, and contentious election. The outcome of the vote was 258-77, heavily in favor of the Uruguayan Maglione.

The 81-year old Maglione had to alter the age limits to even run for re-election, but now will serve another 4 year term at the top of the organization.

While the general swimming population seemed prepared for a change, Maglione received overwhelming support from the federations – including public support from the Asian, African, and American federations that included at times accusations of bribery by Barelli. United States Aquatic Sports, the umbrella organization that represents the federations for the 6 aquatic sports in the United States, wrote a letter in support of Maglione that was signed by president Steve McFarland – who is also the chairman at Duraflex International, who is a major supplier to FINA of diving boards.

While ultimately the status quo remains in place, with Maglione continuing to run the governing body, the election exposed a seedier side of the sport, where conflicts of interest run amok and vice presidents can be elected from federations who do not support them – even after those same vice presidents are caught on audio recording asking for ‘commission’ in exchange for generating sponsorship deals for FINA.

These elections typical go down as a whimper, unheard of by the public, but this election has been the most public in memory.

Included among the elected is that the top 7 positions in the Executive are all men.

The full FINA Bureau for the period 2017-2021 is below:

Dr Julio C. Maglione (URU)

Honorary Treasurer
Pipat Paniangvait (THA)

First Vice-President
Husain Al Musallam (KUW)

Second Vice-President
Sam Ramsamy (RSA)

Dale Neuburger (USA)
Paolo Barelli (ITA)
Dennis Miller (FIJ)

Dr Mohamed Diop (SEN)
Mario Fernandes (ANG)
Dr Donald Rukare (UGA)
Dr Margo Mountjoy (CAN)
Algernon Cargill (BAH)
Daichi Suzuki (JPN)
Andrey Kryukov (KAZ)
David Sparkes (GBR)
Dimitris Diathesopoulos (GRE)
Tamas Gyarfas (HUN)
Zouheir El Moufti (MAR)
Matthew Dunn (AUS)
Errol Clarke (BAR)
Juan Carlos Orihuela Garcete (PAR)
Jihong Zhou (CHN)
Taha Al Kishry (OMA)
Vladimir Salnikov (RUS)
Erik van Heijningen (NED)



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Years of Plain Suck
4 years ago

Here’s some better news: a nice Karen Crouse New York Times story about coach Greg Meehan.


Reply to  Years of Plain Suck
4 years ago

That was a nice story. Thanks for sharing.

4 years ago

And… the corrupt geriatric does it again! Here’s to another term of dopers getting off the hook easy Low payouts for athletes and not progressing the sport as it should.

Reply to  JUST SAYIN
4 years ago

I mean…. you can’t just pay swimmers a ton of money…

IMs for days
Reply to  Maverick
4 years ago

But when you have a yearly revenue of around 70 million you can afford more the 5.5 million in prize money overall. Unless, of course, your more focused on your own paycheck them ypu are on the sport.

But the suggestion that FINA is doing that is outrageous. How could they possibly be corrupt?

Joel Lin
Reply to  IMs for days
4 years ago

The daily per diem for FINA execs on travel to meets his higher than 3rd place prize money in individual World Cup events. That pretty much sums up what Julio & Co. are all about.

mario Gufo
4 years ago

elections end a disaster
swimming in the hands of incompetents that stand out only to divide some tens of dollars.
in their countries there are no plants and where there are no swim women this is not democracy

Swim Nerd
4 years ago

Corruption rules

4 years ago

Tell me again why we don’t need an athlete and coaches union? What do we do when he changes the age limits aging in 4 more years?

Tom from Chicago
4 years ago

The only American is Dale Neuberger? Neuberger needs to resign from FINA or quit as a TSE employee (FINA lobbyist). And that suspicious Kuwaiti is still there? This is a strange organization, but at least now, everyone knows it.

Reply to  Tom from Chicago
4 years ago

Neuberger supported Maglione.

Joel Lin
Reply to  swifter
4 years ago

Neuberger is that guy hoping to never see discovery in a due process.

4 years ago

How exactly did a guy from Uruguay become the head of the world swimming federation? Like, I really want someone to explain this to me.

Uruguay has never won a single medal of any color in any aquatics event. Ever. Not one of their swimmers has made semifinals in the past three world championships. Similarly, not a single swimmer from the country has made even semis at the past three Olympiads. And it’s not like they’ve been close either. 25th place would be a major step forward. Uruguay is beyond irrelevant.

Of course, it’s technically possible that he could be the best man for the job, even though not Uruguayan man has EVER swim fast enough to get… Read more »

4 years ago

What a horrible dsigrace!
The only reasonable reaction is to vomit!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. 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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