SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side.
Our latest poll asked SwimSwam readers to weigh in the the contentious controversy surrounding the Mexican Swimming Federation’s falsification of entry times for the 2015 FINA World Championships:
Are Mexico’s falsifications of Worlds entry times:
- Not a concern? – 5.9%
- A concern, but not a major one? – 41.1%
- A huge concern and being ignored? – 53.0%
For those out of the loop, a quick refresher: Mexico’s entry times at the 2015 FINA World Championships came under fire when an anonymous source with a connection to the federation began pointing out irregularities in the team’s entries.
A lengthy examination by SwimSwam found that many of the entry times for Mexican swimmers couldn’t be verified by meet results from Mexican Nationals, and that a large number of them were just barely below FINA “A” cuts, which allowed the federation to swim more athletes in each race.
Mexican swimmer Daniel Ramirez told SwimSwam he hadn’t swum the times he was entered with. Ramirez had qualified for Worlds with a FINA “B” cut, but was surprised to see he was entered with an “A” cut he hadn’t swum, allowing a second Mexican entry in his event.
Eventually, news broke that a procedural boggle had kept Mexico’s World University Games team from being entered correctly. It began to appear as if the falsification of times at Worlds was done to get those athletes a chance to swim at Worlds instead.
The Mexican federation didn’t address that directly, but did eventually admit to falsifying their entry times, saying they did it to help their athletes, who were demotivated by the nation’s backing out of hosting the 2017 World Championships.
The day after our original reporting on the subject, a number of Mexico’s swimmers with unverified entry times began scratching out of their races at Worlds.
SwimSwam readers very clearly saw the falsification of entry times as an issue, though they were split on how serious an issue. 41.1% found it a concern, but not a major one, while 53.0% said it was a huge concern that was being ignored. Meanwhile just 5.9% saw it as a non-concern.
Lightening the seriousness of the issue is that no one was directly harmed by Mexico’s circumventing the rules. Their athletes didn’t directly steal a lane from other swimmers, and if they indeed missed out on swimming at the World University Games due to an entry error, swimming at Worlds at least gave them a taper meet for the summer.
On the other hand, the Mexican swimming federation very clearly admitting to breaking FINA rules regarding entries, and many voters appeared to feel that FINA did not address that conscious breach of rules with any sort of major punishment.
Compounding matters is the fact that the president of the Mexican swimming federation is tied in deeply with FINA’s leadership – President Kiril Todorov is currently the Vice-Chairman of the FINA technical swimming committee, per our previous reporting. FINA has had the same core of leaders entrenched for a long period of time, and has recently come under fire for their governance while simultaneously abolishing term limits to keep their entrenched leadership in place.
Check out the SwimSwam frontpage to vote in our newest poll, which asks about the long-term viability of running FINA’s World Cup meets in long course meters instead of the usual short course meters.
Find and vote in the new poll here, on the right side of the page about halfway down.
Long Course World Cups are a…
- good idea?
- good idea only in the Olympic year?
- bad idea?