April 16, 2018 -
A fault line has opened up between athletes, coaches on one side and federations on the other when it comes to holding FINA’s feet to the fire on anti-doping (not to mention other issues). Here is a thread of communication and appeal attached that speaks to the schism between clean sport and the lack of determination […]
March 21, 2018 -
Under the terms of a new World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Compliance Standard set to come into force next month, FINA may be forced to cancel the series-starting Kazan round of the World Cup set for September 7-9 if RUSADA, Russia’s suspended anti-doping agency, have not met the conditions required for reinstatement.
March 20, 2018 -
Given that Russia has had the worst doping record on the planet this past decade – the tally of positives in the pool alone the worst return of all nations in that same time period – it may seem a little odd to find Russian President Vladimir Putin ordering his diplomats to seek changes to international doping rules. But that is what the recipient of FINA’s top prize (and that at a time when Russian swimming had the worst doping record in the sport) has done. Putin wants to ensure “the rules are fair and absolutely transparent”, as if the WADA Code and its banned substances list weren’t clear enough when his nation’s sports system was trampling all over them on a regular and systematic basis, as our archive shows. The news about FINA’s star politician coincides with IOC president Thomas Bach’s assertion in an interview with Japanese media today that: “… we can only accomplish our mission if we [the Olympic Movement and IOC] have this autonomy, if we are politically strictly neutral”.
March 2, 2018 -
Russian Yuliya Efimova* was arrested on December 30 last year in Los Angeles – the city where in 2013 she produced a positive steroid test – and was released on $5,000 bail.
February 21, 2018 -
The SwimVortex Safe Sport Series: Safe Sport is, of course, is a worldwide issue and abuse goes well beyond that of a sexual nature. Doping, coercion, being encouraged to be wilfully blind, to look the other way, under threat of removal of the right to represent, if representing is what you actually get to do within FINA. On that note, seven questions to the FINA Athletes’ Committee
February 20, 2018 -
The SwimVortex Safe Sport Series reaches its second week, during which questions will be sent out to relevant parties with a view to understanding where official bodies, coach representatives, athlete representatives, advocates for victims of abuse and those governing the sport of swimming at all levels, nations through to Olympic think their roles and responsibilities rest. Today: USAS, USA Swimming and the Safe Sport Unit
February 19, 2018 -
The SwimVortex Safe Sport Series reaches its second week, during which questions will be sent out to relevant parties with a view to understanding where official bodies, coach representatives, athlete representatives, advocates for victims of abuse and those governing the sport of swimming at all levels, nations through to Olympic think their roles and responsibilities rest. Today: Coaches
February 15, 2018 -
Editorial: Time to note the importance of the watch of a gatekeeper and whether he is wide awake or wilfully blind to what he can clearly seeI ran past the first watchman. “Then I was horrified, ran back again and said to the watchman: “I ran through here while you were looking the other way.” The watchman gazed ahead of him and said nothing. “I suppose I really oughtn’t to have done it,” I said. The watchman still said nothing. “Does your silence indicate permission to pass?” – Franz Kafka
February 14, 2018 -
The World Swimming Coaches Association has issued a call to athletes, coaches and the leaders of aquatics sports around the globe “to unite and fight to ensure that clean sport still is the cornerstone of swimming and all Olympic sports”. Coaches say the Russian crisis of systematic doping has highlighted that “the International Olympic Committee is no longer interested in either Clean Sport or Fair Sport”, while the IOC’s ‘Independent Testing Authority’ (ITA) will simply “fix a failed system with a broken system”; FINA seed to reject ITA and follow IAAF lead in setting up a Swimming Integrity Unit “completely independent” of FINA; call follows a presentation in which Bill Bock, the General Counsel of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) said the world had witnessed the “abject failure of the international anti-doping system” in the past few years.
February 13, 2018 -
Today, we consider Child and Athlete Protection and how it is possible for Chinese national junior swimming champion Qing Wenyi to die in the night but be cremated within 36 hours with no inquiry called and no autopsy report to show how and why she died – and not a single sports authority of which she was a member bothered to respond to any of the questions on child protection measures and responsibilities this journalist sent to them, including the CSA and FINA
February 7, 2018 -
Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee, has defended the Movement’s record and decision-making on the Russian doping crisis, even though the banned Russian Olymlpic Committee that announced the nation’s “unofficial/neutral” team for the Winter Olympics has not been castigated for continuing to operate in Olympic circles and even though the list of those Russians who will be allowed to compete will not be confirmed until hours before the opening ceremony of the Games on Friday in Korea. Bach was speaking to the media the day after two IOC members — Dick Pound of Canada and Gerardo Werthein of Argentina — came to verbal blows at an IOC session.
February 6, 2018 -
The Court of Arbitration for Sport has come under fire from the Athletes’ Commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency in the wake of its decision to overturn bans on 28 Russian winter sportsmen and women on the grounds of “insufficient evidence” even though clear evidence of sample tampering at Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics has been demonstrated. Calling the decision “a massive setback for clean sport”, athletes want CAS to come more independent and chose a higher quality of arbitrator
January 20, 2018 -
“Your abuse started 30 years ago but that’s just the first reported incident we know of. If over these many years just one adult listened and had the courage and character to act, this tragedy could have been avoided. I, and so many others, would never have met you.” Those are some of the testimony of American Olympic gold medalist gymnast Aly Raisman during a 13-minute victim-impact statement yesterday in front of Ingham County Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina and thew doctor who abused her, Larry Nassar. The words are relevant to all sports and all forms of abuse in the realm of young athletes in the guardianship of figures of authority
January 2, 2018 -
This week marks the 20th anniversary of a call from an anti-doping boss with a keen forensic mind to the agents who would carry out an out-of-competition test the result of which is still making its impact felt two decades on. Professor Malcolm Cameron was a leading member of the FINA medical unit at a time of systematic cheating in Chinese swimming. National teams were gathering this week in Perth, Western Australia, for the 1998 World Championships but Smith de Bruin was to be a no show. All eyes would soon be on the multiple positives of Chinese swimmers, the 13 vials of hGh, airports seizures and more. On the other side of the planet in Ireland, IDTM agents Al and Kay Guy were asked to knock at the door of Michelle Smith, triple Olympic champion. Here is the story of what happened either side of that moment, including an official warning handed to Prof. Cameron from Cornel Marculescu, the director of FINA, after this author broke the story of an adverse finding in The Times newspaper.
December 29, 2017 -
Top 20 Stories Of 2017: No 14 – Why Paolo Barelli’s Challenge Was A Winner. The Italian makes our list because he broke the FINA mould and Omertà; he has challenged the status quo from the inside; he has raised awareness of a fish rotting from the head downwards
December 28, 2017 -
SwimVortex annual awards: Sarah Sjostrom, who claimed three gold and a silver at world titles, and Caeleb Dressel, winner of three solo titles amid seven gold medals at the World Championships in Budapest back in July, are the SwimVortex Swimmers of the Year. The Carlile Cup for Lifetime Achievement goes to Nancy Hogshead-Makar and the #AquaticsMeToo club of women who have, by finding the courage to speak out and then through fearless and focused advocacy for women’s sports, raised awareness of a woefully deep and dark corner of Olympic sport; there is recognition, too, for Adam Peaty for delivering the performance of the year; for the WSA and the PSA and a challenge to the status quo just getting started; in open water, top honours go to Aurelie Mueller (FRA) and Ferry Weertman (NED), the 10km World champions, Mueller’s efforts contributing to recognition of the French team as the No 1 and most improved nation in open water in 2017. The USA and GBR are recognised in the nations awards, too… the list in full
December 23, 2017 -
For the remaining days of the countdown to 2018, SwimVortex will look back at 2017 through 20 of the most significant swimming stories of the year, some about the pool, the water and the competition, some about the politics, the woe and the competition, some about the issues where the pool and the politics meet and what that has meant for the murkiness of the water. Today, we start with No19 – Bullies, Blazers & A Master(s)class From The Prof; and No 20 – Hurtling Hosszu and the risks of Iron deficiency
December 20, 2017 -
Caeleb Dressel and Sarah Sjostrom have been voted swimmers of the year by SwimVortex readers; Sjostrom and Adam Peaty top ‘performance of year’ poll; readers also voted for the USA women’s medley combine and Great Britain’s 4x200m free men as relays of the year; Rikako Ikee, of Japan, top girl, and Kliment Kolesnikov, of Russia, top boy; while France’s Aurelie Mueller and Dutchman Ferry Weertman topped the open water votes
December 5, 2017 -
There has never been a better moment to back independent journalism and coverage of the sport of swimming. That’s the bad news. The good news comes when we can say that all focus and super troupers can be trained on the swimmers and the swimming, the lore and legend of it all, because there is no longer any need to fight for the good governance that is so sorely lacking in the global pool as 2017 draws to a close. The question is: will you help us to provide that independent coverage?
November 10, 2017 -
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has obtained a database that holds the results of drug tests returned by Russian athletes dating back several years, according to a report in the New York Times.
November 4, 2017 -
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has confirmed a six-month suspension of the WADA accreditation of the Laboratory of the Agence Française de lutte contre le Dopage (the National Anti-Doping Organization of France) in Châtenay-Malabry, France (Paris Laboratory).
September 6, 2017 -
Editorial. The International swimming federation has finally reached the tipping point on doping. Just when you thought FINA could sink no lower, it will have Park Tae-hwan* and the asterisk he tows for falling foul of the WADA Code as ambassadors for its showcase 2019 World Championships. Forgiveness is essential. To forget and wipe the slate c lean and expect that to send the right message on clean sport is folly.
September 2, 2017 -
When China’s Qiu Yuhan* takes to her blocks in lane 4 for the final of the 200m freestyle at the 13th China Games in Tianjin tomorrow, she will be the latest to return from a doping ban that was not reported to the wider world of swimming until after her penalty had been served.
August 16, 2017 -
A six-month anti-doping suspension handed down to coach Romain Barnier has cast a shadow over the Marseille program he led to Olympic success for France. The allegation against Barnier, who has lodged an appeal against the decision to suspend him, is that he obstructed out-of-competition anti-doping testers when they asked for three of his swimmers to provide samples for testing during a training session.
July 16, 2017 -
Grigory Rodchenkov, the man who ran the Moscow anti-doping laboratory from 2005 to 2015 and produced some of the most critical evidence at the heart of the Russian doping crisis that led to a ban on track and field athletes from Rio 2016, picked up crucial tips on how to cheat the system on a… […]
June 26, 2017 -
“It’s sad someone has to say it. We shouldn’t have to say, ‘Hey, don’t cheat.’ That’s kind of idiotic to me that I even have to be the person to do that. But I’m fine with it. It’s really not that hard of a job. Just reciting facts.” Guess who? Lilly King, of course. Yes,… […]
June 20, 2017 -
The UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory in California has been handed a three-month conditional suspension for unspecified problems with “analysis of specific prohibited substances”.
June 9, 2017 -
China’s Qiu Yuhan, a double 2014 Youth Olympic gold medallist and London 2012 Olympics team member, was banned by the China Anti-Doping Agency (Chinada) in May 2016. The news just made it to the official record of Chinada, the national anti-doping agency, but remains unreported by FINA, the international federation.
May 13, 2017 -
Poland’s Sebastian Szczepanski tops the list of latest doping bans in swimming with a four-year ban for anabolics in a case that dates back to December 2015. The 2017 case file of 2016 cases also includes a meldonium positive.
May 11, 2017 -
The lawyer for Olympic silver medallist Madeline Groves is moving to have allegations of a missed drugs test dismissed, claiming that FINA testers did not follow the correct procedure when they attempted to locate the Australian in San Diego.