New Era Dawns: FINA Bosses Agree To “Canterbury Talks” To End Swim Schism

Speedo caps - hopefully around for the next 100 years and worn by athletes who have a right to self-determination and ownership of their own sponsorship arrangements [By Patrick B. Kraemer]

The executive group at FINA has agreed to enter talks with coach and athlete representatives with a view to submitting the international federation to independent review

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The executive group at FINA has agreed to enter talks with coach and athlete representatives with a view to submitting the international federation to independent review


Tim Wheyster

Well done to all that lobbyed for this, great news.

Brave and forward thinking from FINA, but they must follow it through and make sweeping changes if they are to regain much needed credibility.


Great news for swimming, it finally looks like we are heading in a great direction.

Not to be too negative or anything, but can FINA ban Dr Zhen without/before the decision of WADA? And surely he would take te case to CAS meaning his double ban may come many months later?

Am I right in thinking this?

Craig Lord

It would be great news, Correspondent, if only it wasn’t March 32nd (read the last line).
On Dr Ba, no joke, yes, FINA could and should do it: as WADA note, FINA is the body that enforces the WADA Code in swimming. Dr Ba, I feel almost certain, would not take the case to CAS … as for the rule, it allows for a doubling of any suspension period from the date that first suspension ends (in this case May 17 this year… so yes, any challenge would likely stretch beyond the suspension dates – all theoretical, of course)


Oh if only this were the case…


Yes, I saw March 32nd, very good I thought.

On a more serious note, I assume then that Dr Zhen will be with the Chinese national team in Kazan this summer?

Craig Lord

That will be interesting to see, Correspondent. Despite all its doping woe, China has not yet reintroduced an official/coach back into the realms of official team status after a doping ban – so that scenario would represent a first … and not a good one …

Clive Rushton

I’m sceptical! The piece was posted on April 1 and March 32nd next year is, of course, April 1.

Google has published a blog saying the equator is slipping and by 2055 Australia will be in the northern hemisphere. Which is more believable: the earth’s tilt is maneuvering itself or FINA is “sincere they are to work with swimmers and coaches, among others, on a new start”?

And why Canterbury?

Craig Lord

Clive: Canterbury and the origin of March 32: 🙂

Steve Levy

@Craig, having been part of a group that attempted to develop specific Human Resources standards that met ANSI requirements, one *strong* recommendation would be to the talks to include a “non-voting observer group” – it’s quite common for nuances to be missed and/or words misinterpreted by those doing the creating.

@Tim, I’m not so certain that what FINA is proposing is “Brave and forward thinking from FINA” – when someone’s hand is forced by increasing industry rancor they had no choice but to do this. I’m sure my fingers are crossed as far much as yours are but at this point all they’ve done is talk.

@Correspondent & @Craig, if China suspends before FINA suspends then it’s just the tail wagging the dog.

@Craig, I’d strongly suggest that FINA create an Audit Committee (I don’t seem to see one under their structure) partially comprised of athletes with significant A&F experience.

Still – it’s a start. Just wondering if it will truly be Canterbury Talks or Canterbury Tales.

Craig Lord

I think we’re looking at Canterbury Tales on this March 32nd, Steve. The Audit Commission/Committee is an obvious void in the world of ‘specialised’ committees. It would be one of the central thrusts of any review. There is nothing to suggest that the FINA leadership is interested in opening up to much-needed transparency, including opening its books, in full, to Congress, to the Bureau and the wider membership and showing precisely what comes in, what goes out and where very penny is spent.
If there is ever a will to talk to a deadline other than March 32, I’m sure that your suggestions would be most welcome…


Ugh I hate April fools

Craig Lord

Yes, swam, they sometimes come with that sinking feeling that spring has not yet sprung after all… still, cheer up, it won’t last forever 🙂


I believe in Santa Claus! I believe in Santa Claus! I believe…

Craig Lord

Good for you, Danjohnrob, so do I 🙂

Brent Rutemiller

Almost had me – Craig!

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