Mexico’s World Championship Entry Times “Irregular,” Suspicious

A source, who has asked to remain nameless given their connection to the Mexican Swimming Federation, has pointed out certain glaring irregularities in the country’s qualifying times for the 2015 FINA World Aquatics Championships in Kazan, Russia.

Of Mexico’s 36 individual entries to the meet, 32 of them are within .15 seconds of either the FINA “A” or FINA “B” qualifying standards. In many cases, the swims hit the qualifying standard exactly, and in every case where Mexico has multiple entries, the swimmer’s qualifying times are very tightly grouped.

To make the times more suspicious, a large portion of them are significantly faster than the what are believed to be the Mexican National Records, though oddly all of the National Records listings on the federations websites are now broken.

As an example, the fastest time we can find for any Mexican 50 freestyler ever is a 22.77 by Antonio Cisneros in 2009. In the men’s 50 free, Alejandro Escudero is entered with a 22.24, which also happens to be .01 seconds faster than the FINA “A” standard.

That event is even more irregular, as Mexico has two entries, and the second, Lorenzo Loria, is entered with a 23.63 that is slower than the “B” standard.

To enter two swimmers in an event at Worlds, they must both be under the “A” standard. To enter one swimmer in an event, that swimmer must be under the “B” standard.

In almost every case where Mexico had a swimmer under the “A” standard, they have two entered at faster than the “A” standard.

Loria is also entered in the 100 free in 49.38 (“A” standard of 49.39), as is Daniel Ramirez Carranza. Both swimmers being .01 seconds faster than the “A” standard allows Mexico to swim both.

As another example, in the women’s 100 fly, Sharo Rodriguez was entered with a 59.12, and Laura Arroyo was entered with a 59.14. The FINA “A” standard is 59.16. The pair swam 1:02.97 and 1:03.18, respectively, in prelims.

At Mexico’s National Championships, Rodriguez swam a 1:02.36, and Arroyo swam 1:02.52. They were 4th and 5th, respectively, and the recognized National Record at that meet was 1:00.16 (a full second slower than the times that both were entered with).

These coincidences are the rule, not the exception.

Compounding the problem is that few of the Mexican swimmers have been able to support their times – of 14 individual swims through three days, only 1 has beaten a seed time, according to the website scmsom.se.

And that adds another wrinkle to this story. Upon searching through a majority of the entry times, we were unable to verify a single one at any meet, especially those allowed by FINA for World Championship qualifying. We couldn’t find any of the entry times in FINA’s official database, either, or at the Mexican National Championships.

There was, however, one spot where we were able to verify the times: On the website scmsom.se.

Those times which we were able to match to those records aren’t listed with any date, nor a location of the swim, which is different than the vast majority of the records on the well-maintained databases. That includes Rodriguez’s 100 fly.

The connection here is that the owner and organizer of that website, Christer Magnusson, is a member of the FINA Technical Swimming Committee (though that website appears to be outside of his official duties with FINA).

Update Thursday morning: Magnusson says that he pulled the records from results databases and start lists, working on the assumption that all of those times were correct. He says that this is all he knows about the matter.

In general, Mexico sent their best swimmers to the Pan American Games in Toronto in July, not these World Championships, which makes it that much more suspicious that this group has earned the requisite number of “A” and “B” times to swim in Kazan.

Neither FINA nor the Mexican Swimming Federation have made a comment yet, including responding a request to verify the meet’s where the entry times were recorded, though it is early in the morning in Kazan.

The four exceptions to the .15 second rule above, which also carry some irregularities:

  • Loria’s 50 free, discussed above
  • Montserratt Ortuno, 8:44.05 in the women’s 800 free  (10.00 seconds under the FINA “A” standard
  • Montserratt Ortuno, 16:44.88 in the women’s 1500 free (“B” standard is 17:08.39)
  • Daniel Ramirez Carranza, 26.09 in the men’s 50 back (“B” standard is 26.41)

Mexico faced controversy at the Pan Am Games as well, where a swimmer claims they threatened to send her home from the meet for refusing to wear a certain brand of suit. The Federation never responded to those accusations.

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Lucas
7 years ago

It’s part of the culture. I remember being at the Mexican junior nationals cycling competition a few years ago. I saw the oldest 14 year olds I’ve ever seen racing the 14 year old class. So absurd. The fastest real 14 year old probably got 10th.

LOL
7 years ago

FIFA + FINA + FIBA =$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Manuel
7 years ago

It is a shameful situation, all of it is. I agree with KN in DQing swimmers with fake times. Disagree with B, the federation might have done it, but the swimmers know very well they didn’t swim those times. That makes them cheaters too!

mexiconadadores
7 years ago

Kiril has to quit his position of president, the same as Azuara and Abascal, they are the problem of Mexico.

Antonio Cisneros Sr.
7 years ago

As far as I know no other Mexican swimmer has broken Antonio Cisneros record. Had his record been broken I would have known as I still stay in contact with other Mex swimmers. Antonio swam a 22.77 under coach Rose from Mission Viejo Nadadores. No other Mex swimmer has ever gone under 23! And yes the Mex Website is working but the national records are not viewable. What a shame!

Natacion Total
Reply to  Antonio Cisneros Sr.
7 years ago

Mr. Cisneros, with all respect you might deserve, all records are meant to be broken! For the good sake of Mexican swimming I hope 50 Free LC Mexican record falls soon! Regards!

Mike Sanders
7 years ago

Shades of Sam Freas at Hawaii. Isn’t this how Sam qualified his swimmers for the NCAA meet? Creative timing!!

Mike Sanders
Reply to  Mike Sanders
7 years ago

Shades of Sam Freas at Hawaii. Isn’t this how Sam qualified his swimmers for the NCAA meet? Creative timing!!

Real facts
Reply to  Mike Sanders
7 years ago

What does Sam Freas have to do here? Wow if you knew something about mexico’s swimming you should know his swimmer Daniel Ramirez is one of the few that actually has the cuts to be there.

Sam Freas
Reply to  Mike Sanders
7 years ago

Mike Sanders, you may want to check your facts. All Hawaii times were certified by two officials and signed off by the athletic director. The NCAA qualifying times at UH were not created but were actually achieved. The dispute was over the fact that all of the times were not electronic, which was allowable according to the NCAA meet manual, and, not surprisingly, removed from the meet manual the following year. Interesting to note that some UH swimmers who were not allowed to swim on the 400-free relay at the NCAAs, swam the following week under the auspices of the Baywatch Hawaii team to set a US National meet record in the 400-freestyle relay. If you’re interested in the truth,… Read more »

Alias
Reply to  Sam Freas
7 years ago

Hmm. I wonder if Mike Sanders is actually Mike Anderson, former bitter UH coach.

LUVBR
7 years ago

The “A” team was sent to PanAms. The federation FORGOT to send the entry to World University Games so instead, as a consolation prize, swimmers qualified for this meet got to go worlds, a far superior meet than PanAms, problem is, they didn’t have the cuts so they made them up. Hope FINA and the Mexican Federation are made accountable for this.

dmswim
7 years ago

How did FINA not require proof of times to enter? Even lower level age group championships in the U.S. require that! What a mess!

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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