FINA, the Federation International de Natation Amateur. Is it fit for purpose and are those in leadership positions fit to lead? Or are they letting the sport down? A wave of blunders and bad decisions in recent years, several notable examples from the past 12 months, have prompted leading coaches and athletes to ask: can FINA be repaired or is it time to replace the organisation that was created in 1908 but no longer appears to serves its constituency more than it serves its leadership.
A tipping point has been reached. Bill Sweetenham has suggested a way forward for the sport: FINA hold submit to independent review; open its books as the no-profit organisation it claims to be; and work to reform itself for he benefit of swimming. The World Swimming Association stands in the wings ready to replace FINA as the global federation for swimming. FINA would be left with diving, water polo and synchronised swimming as its key assets.
In this section, we collate all articles features and editorial related to the political crisis in swimming and the campaign for better and more accountable governance of the sport.
May 22, 2017 -
The FINA Executive is said to be considering imposing emergency powers to block a bid by the international federation’s honorary secretary Paolo Barelli to become the president of the global body in a vote in Budapest this July. Such a move could spark mutiny at the General Congres of nations on the eve of the World Championships in Buadpest this July. Meanwhile, World and American coaches associations have thrown their weight behind Barelli’s challenge to the status quo
May 15, 2017 -
Exclusive: Paolo Barelli, the Italian challenging for the FINA presidency on a platform of “Improving Governance” has accused the incumbent Uruguayan Julio Maglione, 81, of failing to “take a clear position … in a serious case of bribery” at the heart of a FIFA scandal alleged to involve the FINA first vice-president and his Kuwaiti boss
April 20, 2017 -
SwimVortex Investigation: The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is set to adjudicate in a row at the heart of the FINA leadership that started with what members of the European swimming league (LEN) say was an attack on the right of their continent to chose its own leadership without interference from the United States, Kuwait and elsewhere. The matter cuts to the heart of the debate over the much-criticised state of governance at the international federation. In Paolo Barelli Vs FINA, we considered the Italian Hon. Secretary’s case against Dale Neuburger of the USA. Here, in part 2, we consider his case against Husain Al Musallam, FINA First Vice-President, a seat away from the leadership of the international federation – and from Kuewait, a nation that is currently suspended from the IOC and FINA.
April 13, 2017 -
SwimVortex Investigation A Swiss law firm conducting a governance review of FINA has told the international swimming federation that its Ethics Panel should have the power to start proceedings on its own initiative. The advice is highly pertinent to a case against FINA before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). FINA’s leadership is now believed… […]
April 12, 2017 -
Trials season is well underway in the world of swimming this month but there is another unfolding on dryland, one that could shape the sport for many years to come: FINA Vice-President Vs FINA (and two Vice-Presidents). A ten-day countdown begins today: April 22 is the deadline for all nominations to positions within FINA for the next four years to arrive on the top desk at the international federations offices in Lausanne. A case being considered by the Court of Arbitration for Sport is pivotal
April 2, 2017 -
The Court of Arbitration for Sport is set to adjudicate in a row at the heart of the FINA leadership – between three vice-presidents and a fourth member of the ruling Bureau no less – that exposes bitter political infighting. CAS is being asked to decide if FINA stuck to its rules when it refused to refer a dispute to the Ethics Panel of the international federation. At the heart of the matter are: conflicts of interests; the FINA leadership’s refusal to allow the federation’s Ethics Panel to consider the dispute; and alleged American and Kuwaiti interference in European elections against the constitution and rules of the international swimming federation.
March 19, 2017 -
This week delivered a hint of the height of IOC ambition in a gender equality plan, a statement about which ended with these words: “With the adoption of Olympic Agenda 2020 in December 2014 and as reaffirmed by the IOC Executive Board last December, the IOC is committed to working with its stakeholders to increase the possibilities for girls and women in sport and to achieve the goal of female athletes representing 50 per cent of the athletes taking part in the Olympic Games.” Is that it, then? Is that really what gender equality means: 50/50 participation? Let’s hope not. After all, there’s so much to do, including dealing with a backlog of woe holding back progress and trust.