JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, June 16. LESS than a week after informing the six U.S.-based athletes on the Commonwealth Games squad that they would have to pay for part of their travel, Swimming South Africa has announced that the federation will foot the bill.
Last week, Swimming World obtained an email that said the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) would only pay for airfare to Glasgow, Scotland, up to $936 for athletes who live in the United States. Swimming South Africa called the U.S.-based swimmers “breakaways” in the email, a term first used by SASCOC.
But in a press release on Swimming South Africa’s website, the aquatic federation announced that money to fully fund travel for all 20 swimmers.
“SASCOC has a clear policy on breakaways included in the agreement that National Federations sign … for team’s participation in the 2014 Commonwealth Games,” the federation stated. “The policy clearly indicates the responsibility for the shortfall in any difference in cost is that of the National Federation.
Additional funds have already been sourced to cover any shortfalls no athlete will bear the cost related directly to participation in the Commonwealth Games.”
A request for additional information from Swimming South Africa was not immediately returned. Swimming World has learned that the six athletes in the United States have not yet been informed of the change in financing, and have not booked travel to Scotland, with a month to go before they are to report to Glasgow.