LAUSANNE, Switzerland, October 23. YESTERDAY, Swimming World reported on various points of Israeli discrimination that took place during the FINA World Cup stops in Dubai and Doha.
Although Swimming World asked for comment two days ago, FINA has decided to put out a press release today answering questions regarding its involvement, or lack thereof, in the discrimination.
During the two Middle Eastern stops in Dubai and Doha, Israeli swimmers were discriminated against up to and including removal from television broadcasts as well as having the Israeli flag blanked out of graphics in the most widely visible act of discrimination. The Israeli swimmers who took part also had to endure instances of being announced as nationless until, as FINA explains below, the international body forced Amit Ivry to be announced as from Israel.
As seen below, the Israeli flag is blanked from the Amit Ivry’s name in the final of the 100 IM where she went on to take silver.
This is just the latest in Israel/Arab tensions playing themselves out in sports. Typically, it is seen when a Middle Eastern athlete steps down from competing against an Israeli directly. But, since Dubai and Doha have continued to draw more sporting events to their countries, the directly discrimination of Israeli athletes has grown.
In a nutshell, FINA states that it took corrective action at each step of discrimination, citing that they were not aware of the violations until later in the meets. Additionally, FINA has promised that no violations will occur next year on the 2014 FINA World Cup stops in Dubai and Doha as well as the 2014 World Short Course Championships taking place in Doha next year.
FINA’s Full Release
Lausanne (SUI), October 23, 2013 — Following the recent incidents with the delegation of Israel at the FINA Swimming World Cup meets in Dubai (UAE, October 17-18) and in Doha (QAT, October 20-21), FINA would like to clarify that:
1. Prior to the above mentioned competitions, FINA took all the necessary steps, in co-operation with our member National Federations in UAE and Qatar, to ensure the delivery of visas and participation of the Israeli delegation in Dubai and Doha meets. Moreover, FINA also ensured that optimal conditions were provided in terms of hospitality, accommodation, meals, transportation and security. This has been highly appreciated by the Israeli national team;
2. Both in Dubai and Doha, FINA immediately reacted in accordance with its rules. In UAE, the incidents of the first day were not repeated in the following sessions, while in Doha FINA was only informed on these occurrences 15 minutes prior to the end of the second day finals’ session. Once more, FINA promptly reacted and the medal ceremony involving one athlete from Israel and the end of the session respected all the FINA rules;
3. Finally, FINA gave a warning to the Organisers of the two FINA Swimming World Cup meets and recalled them that the FINA rules must be equally applied by all FINA National Federations. Moreover, FINA guarantees that all steps will be taken in the future for such acts not to occur again, namely in the 2014 edition of the FINA Swimming World Cup in Dubai and Doha, and during the 12th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), taking place in Doha from December 3-7, 2014.