Peaty, Halsall, Lowe, Walker-Hebborn Get World Records Back As FINA Loses CAS Case

British bounty (L-R) Jemma Lowe, Christopher Walker-Hebborn, Adam Peaty and Francesca Halsall - a world record by March 2016 Photo: Patrick B. Kraemer

FINA has lost its case against British Swimming in the matter of two world record denied to Adam Peaty, Francesca Halsall, Jemma Lowe and Chris Walker-Hebborn in 2014 because of a bureaucratic bungle on an anti-doping form.

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FINA has lost its case against British Swimming in the matter of two world record denied to Adam Peaty, Francesca Halsall, Jemma Lowe and Chris Walker-Hebborn in 2014 because of a bureaucratic bungle on an anti-doping form.


clive rushton



Unless I have misunderstood (not had my Performance Enhancing coffee yet), it is mandatory to test for EPO for world records to be ratified. Yes, FINA screwed up a lot and repeatedly, yes they should bear the costs, yes the ‘deliberate selection’ point is bad. But. The samples weren’t tested, and therefore it should not stand as a World Record. I don’t agree with CAS judgement.

Craig Lord

In effect they don’t stand as the world record, stabile; making the judgement easier to call in terms of precedent. The judgement refers specifically to these times being allowed to stand in the thread of world-record history. Jemma Lowe has no other world record to her career. Should she pay a price because FINA leaders could not get their act in gear for the best part of a year and reacted not a jot in terms of questioning why a world record had not been ratified within 3 months of it being established … and thus finding long after that a B sample test was impossible. The timeframe smacks of anything from total incompetence to deliberate foul play and politics, just where this one fits we may never know. FINA says it sets ‘tough rules’ and has complained before about its ‘since’ being weakened by CAS – yet its own inactions are what lead to CAS taking judgements in favour of fairness to athletes specifically because FINA failed to act and behaved like it couldn’t care less about world records nor the athletes involved. In the timeframe we’re taking, all manner of petty political points and manoeuvrings took up FINA time at Bureau and other meetings while one of the biggest moments in the sport – a world record – sat on the back burner uncared for for … nine months. I believe you can have fun and welcome a child to the world in the same time frame. All FINA had to do was ask a pertinent question in timely fashion and none of this would have been necessary.


While I am not thrilled with the lack of EPO testing, the fault is on FINA for failure to ratify or deny the pending mark until it was too late for a retest.

And since so many federations and sponsors have contracts written to pay out bonus money for a world record, the failure to act can cause athletes direct financial harm as well as indirect harm because there may be differences between what a ‘former world record holder’ can bill for speaking/coaching services down the road and someone who cannot make the claim.

So, IMO, best to order the records official in the name of fairness to the athletes who complied with all the rules on their end by providing the anti-doping samples.

Craig Lord

Yes, and as anti-doping experts were telling FINA, it was not as if these athletes had not been tested fairly regularly for the full range of banned substances, EPO included. I see stabilo’s point of principle and it would work for me better if FINA were forced to hand over a million in cash to the swimmers it sought to deny in the same season as director Marculescu was telling the world on the telly that there was no great issue with Sun Yang, culminating in his self-damning ““You cannot condemn the stars just because they had a minor incident with doping” just as FINA judged Sun to be the role model male of the sport in the world at world titles in 2015 (again, simply because it could not be arsed to think properly and put in place a decent system of measuring such things) over… Adam Peaty, the man they sought to deny two WRs.

Felix Sanchez

I have to agree with stabilo. FINA are certainly at fault and should be liable for any unpaid bonuses (possibility even that not having the WR on ones CV – particularly for Lowe – represents an actionable loss of income); however, if protocol was not fulfilled the record can’t be ratified.

Having said that, I do take Craig’s point – to paraphrase – that it doesn’t matter so much as it’s all history now. If it weren’t history it would be a slight issue to have such records on the books. However, given the much larger issue of super-suit records standing in such an oblique relationship to current conditions, this seems barely a drop in the ocean.

Craig Lord

Yes, Felix, certainly harder and precedent-setting if this had been a case of wiping out a tested WR that would have to fall etc.

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