Kapas Joins Public Criticism of Hungarian Federation

It’s becoming a domino effect this week, with various Hungarian stars joining a chorus of criticism against their national federation. After Katinka Hosszu and Daniel Gyurta spoke out earlier, Olympic bronze medalist Boglarka Kapas and the management agency for Peter Bernek have both added statements.

Kapas’s statement comes through Hungary’s NemzetiSport.hu. You can read it in its original Hungarian here. Kapas specifically says she is joining Gyurta, who was generally critical of the federation as a whole. That’s in contrast to Hosszu’s original statement that set off the firestorm of criticism. In that statement, Hosszu called for the resignation of President Tamas Gyarfas.

A rough translation of Kapas’s statement:

I would like to join Daniel Gyurta, my Olympic champion teammate.

Unfortunately, there is disorder in the Hungarian swimming sport and it’s time to talk about it openly.

Why do I think it is? Ideally, us swimmers, only have to concentrate on preparing for the competitions according to our best ability and on standing on the starting block in top form. In the last year however, we really did not have an easy job in this matter.

Either there were loud inner wars or we have had to live in cold war circumstances.

I really hope that we can concentrate soon only on the swimming again so that we can build further the good reputation of the Hungarian swimming sport.

Together with Dani I trust that the management of the sport will make the decisions which will soon built a solid foundation to our successful preparation. This is the interest of Hungary and the Hungarian swimming sport.

In addition, StrongAA Management, which represents short course world champ Peter Bernekjoined the calls. StrongAA specifically distanced itself from Hosszu’s statement specifically, but still criticized the federation, saying that it “does not consider the athletes as equal partners” and that “there is no constructive cooperation and there is no possibility to agree on a different approach.”

And though that statement does start by saying it can’t speak to Hosszu’s specific issue with the federation, it does support her allegations that the federation has reneged on its financial commitments to athletes. The StrongAA statement also does mention the president, saying his words about athlete support are “only an empty phrase.”

The full statement is on Facebook here, in its original Hungarian. Another rough translation to English:

Regarding the personal confrontation between the Hungarian Swimming Association and Katinka Hosszu STRONGAA Management does not consider itself competent to assess the situation objectively.

However, in the relationship between the competitors and the swimming federation, the truth is that the federation does not consider the athletes as equal partners

There is no constructive cooperation and there is no possibility to agree on a different approach

They will work with the “method” Katinka mentioned in the case of our athlete too, e.g. they hold back on the financial support for the whole year of 2016 (introduced in December 2015), which supposed to ensure the smooth preparation for the Rio Olympics, they wanted to sign a one- sided contract with the athlete making him defenceless, dealing with the name and picture of the athlete as their own ( this was the contract Katinka

Because a “real” management company (because we work for our swimmer, not against) cannot let this happen, we did not suggest him to sign this, however, we sent our constructive modifications to the federation, so that the situation ends with both parties’ satisfaction

Our “price” is that our swimmer has not received the support until today and the federation did not reply to any of our phone calls, emails or through any other communication channels Unfortunately, due to their actions, we believe what the president of the federation says that himself and his colleagues try to support the athletes wherever they can, is only an empty phrase and there is no truth behind this.

STRONGAA Management team

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7 years ago

How much sympathy is there out there for athletes fights with federations? I’m thinking not much .

7 years ago

So all the money the federation is spending on the venue for the World Championships seems to be coming at the expense of what are likely pretty modest athlete stipends- unless the athletes effectively self-fund those stipends by signing over licensing rights to the federation?

7 years ago

We can add Verrasztó siblings, too.

Reply to  tkrisz
7 years ago

Yeah, they’re also in the bucket. But where’s a coach (exept Shane) or a team?

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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