Swimming Canada has released guidelines on the participation of athletes from suspended federations at their Olympic Trials meet, which is open to athletes of all nationalities, including those from Mexico: a federation currently under FINA suspension over a dispute with regard to the payment of a fine associated with withdrawing as hosts of the 2017 World Championships.
This is another piece to the puzzle as to what a suspension by FINA actually means, given that the sport’s global governing body has refused to elaborate upon duration or effect of the order issued in January of this year. Mexican athletes have competed internationally since the suspension, under the flag of FINA.
The guidelines include how the Mexican Swimming Federation will be recognized in programs, what Mexican athletes are and are-not allowed to wear, and instructions to media and television commentators on how to identify Mexican athletes.
“The athlete can be referred as “Mexican athlete”, “athlete from Mexico”, but not “representing Mexico” or “representing the Mexican Swimming Federation,” the guidelines read.
The full text regarding suspended FINA federations, signed by Swimming Canada event manager Amanda Zevnik, can be found below. While the text is on Swimming Canada letter head, and part of a broader Swimming Canada document, most of the guidelines don’t apply to the meet specifically because of the meet’s restrictions on foreign athletes medaling. This implies that the regulations have been handed down specifically by FINA, but we have asked Swimming Canada to verify that:
Athletes and Team Officials. The participation of the athletes of the Suspended MF to FINA competitions/ event and/or other international competitions/events, recognized by FINA, where the athletes represent the Suspended MF, shall be under the FINA flag, the FINA code (“FINA” – not “FIN”) or “Suspended Member Federation” code (“SMF”) for the accreditation and related activities and the FINA hymn in the occurrence an athlete of the Suspended MF wins an event.
The Team Officials of the Suspended MF shall be accredited under the FINA Code. Uniforms/Swimwear. The flag and name of the Suspended MF in the athlete’s uniforms and swimwear while participating in International Competitions and during the competition shall not be displayed. The sport equipment (including but not limited to uniforms and swimwear) cannot have visual references to the country and flag of the Suspended MF. Athletes and Team Officials shall wear a “neutral” equipment. The athletes and Team Officials can wear the uniforms of the Suspended NF during the training sessions. Results and Medals. The Suspended MF will not be recognized/awarded with the results and/or medals won by their athletes. The athletes are entitled to be recognized/awarded with the results and/or medals. In case of medals, the awards cannot be associated with the Suspended MF, but with the specific athlete only. After the lift of the suspension, the results and medals will not be recognized/awarded to the Suspended MF either.
FINA Press and Media/TV Commentators. When reporting/announcing on an athlete from the Suspended Member Federation, the athlete shall be refereed as “Athlete from Mexico, whose federation is currently suspended by FINA”. The athlete can be referred as “Mexican athlete”, “athlete from Mexico”, but not “representing Mexico” or “representing the Mexican Swimming Federation”.
Flags. The flag of the Suspended MF to be flown at the opening/closing ceremonies, the prize ceremonies and flagpoles for permanent use shall be replaced by the FINA flag.