Mexico threatens to send Fernanda Gonzalez home from Pan Ams for unsponsored suit

Mexican national record-holder Fernanda Gonzalez says she was threatened with expulsion from the Pan American Games for not wearing Mexico’s sponsored competition suit.

Gonzalez says she was detained in the Pan Am Games village an hour before she was slated to swim the A final of the 200 backstroke, and that officials from the Mexican Olympic Committee threatened to send her immediately back to Mexico if she didn’t wear the recommended suit. reports on Gonzalez’s claim that four officials kept her in a room and told her they would take away her accreditation and not allow her to compete in the Games in Toronto.

You can see an interview with Gonzalez on the Facebook page here, in its original Spanish. Gonzalez appears near tears at several points, and notes that she hopes to use the Pan Am Games to qualify for the Olympics.

It’s still unclear which brand of suit the Mexican Olympic Committee wanted Gonzalez to wear and which brand she wore before getting in trouble with the Mexican officials. She is wearing an Arena suit in the video interview above.

Gonzalez told another Spanish news organization, Terra, that the suit the officials wanted her to wear was not her size and didn’t fit her right. With an Olympic bid on the line, Gonzalez decided against wearing the suit that she says didn’t fit.

She told Terra that she would “burn” the recommended suit and only wear a suit that fit her for the rest of competition.

After the suit incident, Gonzalez competed in the championship final of the 200 back, gaining two and a half seconds from her prelims time and taking 8th overall. Gonzalez was about six seconds off her own national record in the event.

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Edward Rodriguez
5 years ago

USA swimming uses Speedo, every Mexican swimmer I have seen uses Arena. These companies sponsor swimming meets for both leagues on the condition only their brand is advertised.

6 years ago


I don’t understand why she complain today, the Federarion gives her gear in June, and she complains in JULY, 45 days latter.. .. .. Why???

Reply to  Wolf
6 years ago

The problem is not about Gonzales playing tricks to use his own brand, if there’s a fault Fernanda needs to pay but i doubt that banning her from the games is the proper way to punish her. She is the strongest competitor in the mexican swim team and she did the same thing in the past, using nike instead of arena in Veracruz 2014. If the mexican federation was so strict about the issue with the sponsors why did they gave her the credentials to Toronto from the beginning, that gives me reasons to think the directors and sponsors where interested in her being tied to the contract to sell more. Still i don’t think that a sponsors issue should… Read more »

Reply to  ALEX
6 years ago

It was not only for the suit issue that it was not exactly as she declared, it was also because her declarations were ofensive to the directors of comite olimpico mexicano, when they had the right to do it because she accepted before to swim with the arena suit.

Her behaivour is not good, she is always doing tricks to accomplish what she wants. For example her boyfriend and her brother were always at the deck pool during competitions, she got them jackets and acreditations from other swimmers to get inside, she is always reciving foreign visits to her room and stays very late, so people from comite olimpico knows that.

So there are seevral reasons. You should also… Read more »

6 years ago

Well maybe you dont know but it’s not the first time that she wears another swimsuit, just because her sponsors, in 2014 she did the same and she swims with a Nike swimsuit ( she was sponsored by nike ), now she was wearing the Speedo swimcap because she’s sponsored by Speedo.
I think this situation is about the money in both sides.
But the federation shouldn’t allow her to do this thing when she received the swimsuit in advance and she could used before or ask for a replacement.

Reply to  Herrera
6 years ago

i do think that Gonzalez was playing ricks to use the other brands, but still i don’t think banning her from the games she was already in, one hour before the competition was the right solution, i would make her pay a fee or threat her to reject her from the swim mexican team or bann her for a period of time after the games but not one hour before competition, i mean is a sponsors issue there should be better negociation going on, not silly childgames from both sides

6 years ago

boycott arena. easy

6 years ago

Huh… It’s pretty clear that the imposed suit is the Arena one. She clearly grabs it and says “I’m going to burn this suit”. I’m glad she didn’t allow them to bully her. These crappy leaders must be removed from our sports.

Gina Rhinestone
6 years ago

These are the high quality efficient dedicated officials Mexico needs on Drug Baron Escape Prevention ( & Management) team .

6 years ago

No one here is doing their job if this is a problem. The suit maker should provide multiple sizes and cuts if needed. The team should make sure the swimmer has a team suit that fits well before she gets on the plane. The swimmer should promptly notify the team if her suit doesnt fit and she could even proactively tell them she has had trouble with the suit manufacturers sizing in the past and ask them to help her get a proper fit. The burn my suit comment is just lol.

Otto Chavez
Reply to  ta
6 years ago

In this case, the problem is she was forced by people of Mexican Federation to wear an Arena swim suit instead the swim suit she prefers!
This case could became another case of corruption from the mexican authorities on sport issues who have black deals with external (commercial) interest!

I can read on comments for foreing people (out México) that they are assuming everybody in the Mexican Federation are doing their best but, bottom the line, the corruption at its interior has been the main drive to do the things by many many years. From the budgets managment until the purchases of anything is stained by the corruption.

Reply to  Otto Chavez
6 years ago

Your blind accusations make me sick…

Reply to  SWIMMER92
6 years ago

Otto is not completely wrong, Mexican federations usually brings no support whatsoever to the athletes and on the other hand they are forced to sell themselves to a brand they don’t use to train or compete just because there’s an arrangement with the directors and federations. Mexico’s athlete treatment invest very few on their needs and they simply tosh them out when they get injured for not having the proper training or gear, or sometimes because they reveal to the system, or when the drug results turn positive because the athletes need to pay and find medical treatment on their own, there is no such thing as a certified doctor provided by the federation to guide the athletes.

Reply to  Otto Chavez
6 years ago

Things were not exactly as Fernandaa says. As Comite Olimpico Mexicano says she signed a contract that she will use the Arena suit during Panam competition.

About the size of the suit She never ask for a replacement,actually people from Arena is at the competition with spare suits and googles.

4 years ago Speedo was the sponsoship brand for mexican swimming and she swam with Arena, and usually she is doing things like that, just to be on the reflectors..

I hope this behaivour not affects the results of the swimmer..

Reply to  Otto Chavez
6 years ago

I is not corruption, it is just like in every country sponsorships contracts..

That’s all.

6 years ago

maybe they should make a body mold for each swimmer and give them a custom suit. I think they do that for ski boots.

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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