Mexico could face a ban from both this year’s Gwangju World Championships (set to take place in the South Korean city between July 12 and July 28) as well as the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The controversy comes after Mexican Federal Sports Commissioner Ernesto D’Alessio tried to intervene in the selection criteria posted by the Mexican Swimming Federation, Federación Mexicana de Natación. D’Alessio questioned the selection criteria for the diving events set to take place in Gwangju.
In response, FINA issued a statement asking for both parties to reach a mutual agreement. The full statement appears below:
— F.MexicanadeNatacion (@FemexNatacion) June 27, 2019
Following FINA’s statement, Kiril Todorov, president of the Mexican Swimming Federation, made the successive announcement through the Mexican Swimming Federation’s Twitter account:
Commissioner Ernesto D’Alessio’s attitude throughout these past few months is a shameful attitude. Furthermore, this attitude has harmed the Mexican Swimming Federation and specifically the diving events.
The fact that he is constantly questioning the selection criteria posted by the Mexican Swimming Federation and the fact that he is manipulating Mexican athletes with political purposes is something that has reached a new dimension.
FINA, the International Swimming Federation, has issued a statement which I am holding. The statement is promptly informing us that, if this situation does not change, Mexico could face a ban, and that the five Olympic and two world championship events that are governed by the Mexican Swimming Federation would miss the opportunity to take part in world championships, and even qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Commissioner D’Alessio’s actions have caused disagreement, instability, and a lack of harmony towards the national teams governed by the Mexican Swimming Federation, which we greatly regret.
It is fundamental that Commissioner D’Alessio understands how the national athletic system functions, and what the Sports Commission and the Mexican Swimming Federation’s obligations, functions, and attributions are.
We would hope that he would give Mexican athletes the opportunity to do what they do best, which is winning medals as they have done throughout the years, and that he did not involve us in political issues.
The full original statement issued by Todorov can be viewed here:
#FMNInforma I 🎥
Mensaje de Kiril Todorov, presidente de la #FMN relacionado con el comunicado de la FINA y la injerencia del diputado @Ernestodalessio @CONADE @AnaGabrielaGue @fina1908 @PMunozLedo @PESDiputados @Mx_Diputados pic.twitter.com/oqy8TFOX5B
— F.MexicanadeNatacion (@FemexNatacion) June 28, 2019
The Mexican Swimming Federation is now in a race against time to reach an agreement with D’Alessio in light of this year’s World Championships and next year’s Olympics. The Mexican federation has run into several major controversies under Todorov’s administration, including falsifying entry times for the 2015 World Championships, a suspension by FINA for withdrawing from its hosting duties at the 2017 World Championships, and the replacement of the country’s entire technical staff earlier this year after late-2018 disputes.