The Polish Swimming Federation released a more detailed statement concerning the situation involving six would-be Olympians being sent home from Tokyo due to mismanagement of the roster count.
“Dear players, coaches, swimming fans, I express great regret, sadness and bitterness about the situation related to the qualification of our players for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Such a situation should not take place, and the reaction of the players, their emotions, the attack on the Polish Swimming Federation (PZP) is understandable to me and justified,” begins the letter from Paweł Słomiński, the President of the Polish Swimming Federation.
The letter then details out the process used by the organization to identify qualified athletes for Poland’s relays, according to FINA Olympic qualification standards. The FINA Olympic qualification standards read that each nation may enter relay-only athletes provided they have at least achieved the ‘B’ standard for the corresponding stroke/distance of the relay in which they are entered and can include up to 10 additional athletes for a nation qualifying 5 relays.
Słomiński’s letter states as well, “I found out about the rejection of our request to qualify competitors with standard B on 14.07. from the Head of the Olympic Mission. After the competitors took the Olympic oath and flight to Tokyo. I would like to emphasize that the procedure for reporting players to the Olympic Games is based on the actions of two entities, in our case PKOl [Polish Olympic Committee] and PZP [Polish Swimming Federation].
‘The institution that finally approves and reports competitors to the Olympic Games is the Polish Olympic Committee. It is also the only institution with electronic access the IOC player registration system, which contains information on the status of each participant to the IO person.’
Finally, Słomiński’s letter concludes, ‘From the very beginning, the PZP fought to ensure that the largest possible number of participants could take part in the Olympic Games qualified relay teams and competitors who achieved the B FINA standards. Any activities of the Public Procurement Law comply with the applicable regulations and conducted in communication with the Polish Olympic Committee and FINA. As the President of the PZP I declare that I have not received any factual, clear information at any time that our application to FINA with a request to invite Polish competitors with standard B to compete in individual competitions has been rejected.’
Earlier today we reported how Alicja Tchórz, Bartosz Piszczorowicz, Aleksandra Polańska, Mateusz Chowaniec, Dominika Kossakowska and Jan Hołub were all originally named to the Polish lineup for the postponed 2020 Olympic Games as relay-only swimmers. As such, they traveled to Tokyo as part of the 23-strong Polish contingent, only to return home due to their federation having sent too many swimmers according to the aforementioned FINA qualification standards.
Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.