FINA Wakes Up To Debate On Transparency Under Pressure From IOC & Coaches

Under pressure from the International Olympic Committee and an ultimatum from a Who’s Who of world coaches calling for transparency, review and reform of FINA, the international swimming federation has appointed a Chief Internal Audit Officer

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Under pressure from the International Olympic Committee and an ultimatum from a Who’s Who of world coaches calling for transparency, review and reform of FINA, the international swimming federation has appointed a Chief Internal Audit Officer


Lawrie Cox

Yep more fudge coat it on thick and those pests making demands for change will go away?? What they still want change after this dramatic and massive change in FINA accountability (note tongue firmly embedded in cheek).
Looks like will have to find another to cover the tracks.

Clive Rushton

The Chief Internal Audit Officer would be a FINA employee answerable to the Executive Director, right?

So that’s alright then 🙂


Interesting. Transparency is important. The earnings of bureau members is not the least delicate subject, so if they have published that (under pressure) they at least respond to IOC.

Of course there is is a lot to say about the height of a per diem.

In many countries 400 USD a day is a fortune.

If you want the FINA board to have skilled people who know about managing a company/city/country 400 USD probably is way less then the income they do not get because of taking a day of from a highly paid ‘consultancy’ function.

On top of that the compensation maybe should be high enough for bureau members to limit their ‘vulnerability’ for bribes and other temptations.

I guess I wouldn’t say no to a voluntary job that pays 100.000 USD / year. For 200 USD a day I could definitely not invest the time some bureau members do now.

You cannot combine being a FINA president or secretary with a daily job.

In the end if we have bureau members delivering a professional job running World Aquatics I would not have a problem with 400 USD.
If they receive a per diem for hanging out in VIP lounges at World Championships even 50 USD would be too much.

I think I would focus criticism on their quality and performance, not on the per diem.


Paul, spot on. It is the quality of the people at the helm rather than the remuneration levels. It’s just that when you look at the CV’s of those on the FINA Bureau you’re left pretty underwhelmed. Isn’t it about time swimming widened the gene pool?

Craig Lord

Yes, longstroke and Paul, most Bureau members do not have ‘jobs’ and other consultancies to go to. Some of these people have NO other work to go through … and their ‘choice’ is to go and find paid employment or ‘volunteer’ in positions that often carry no great degree of skill nor demand much specialist knowledge at all. Most of you could run rings round many who have been ‘volunteers’ in high places if it came to a swim knowledge quiz 🙂
The other point about this is the transparency required to make sure that some who serve in high positions on 4 , 5 and even 8 organisations at once but wear several of those hats at the one event are claiming just the one per diem from the one organisation at a time… and NEVER more than one and one time. Transparency runs much, much deeper than what is being offered here.

James Parrack

“FINA’s Financial Report will continue to be audited in accordance with the Swiss Audit Standards and the FINA Constitution.” Er.. That’s exactly the problem.
According to, basically the Swiss broadcasting corporation: “Sports bodies based in Switzerland enjoy association status. Associations are not obliged to register with the state nor to publish their accounts. They are granted tax breaks and flexible legal terms that allow them to govern their own affairs and are exempt from Swiss anti-corruption laws.”
Under Swiss auditing law you don’t have to bother with the trouble of an external audit until your results are over 10m Swiss francs and revenue exceeds 20m.


FINA’s poor governance comes down to two things:

1. The disengagement of the national federations
2. The general lack of qualifications and experience of FINA Bureau members

Appointing an Internal Audit Officer isn’t going to change anything in substance when the FINA Bureau is in thrall to the Executive Director and his close associates.

Major cultural change will only happen if a fair number of seats at board level were allocated to real achievers who have made their mark outside of swimming. Just as you don’t have to be a software engineer to sit on the board of Microsoft Corporation you shouldn’t have to be an elite former swimmer, coach or national federation official to sit at swimming’s top table. The sport needs men and women who understand the processes necessary for good governance and who also have skills in the areas of strategic planning, finance, marketing and the media. People with a record of success aren’t going to be dazzled or compromised by the trappings of the role. They would not tolerate the many “volunteers” and “FINA family members” with their snouts in the trough nor would they have at the helm a non-achiever such as Cornel Marculescu who acts as if the sport is his own personal fiefdom.

As far as financial accountability goes, the system will work only if:

1. The Internal Audit Officer reports directly to an Audit Committee of the board made up of independent members
2. Audited financial statements are made available every year to all stakeholders
3. An annual budget is approved by the full board each year and actively monitored by the Audit Committee with a report issued to stakeholders on variances between the budget and actual results

Darren Ward

@James Parrack, very interesting point, doesn’t seem that transparent after all.

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