Adam Peaty to FINA: “I Don’t Care, Ban Me If You’ve Got To,” In Support of International Swim League

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Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

Great Britain’s Adam Peaty has been very vocal about his support for the International Swim League (ISL), even with the likes of FINA, the world governing body of the sport of swimming, threatening to ban him and other athletes who decided to take part in a non-sanctioned event.

But according to BBC Sport, Peaty is unafraid of the consequences for backing the ISL.

“I don’t care, ban me if you’ve got to,” Peaty told BBC Sport.

“I’m not bothered because at the end of the day they know they can’t.”

The 23-year-old Olympic, world, Commonwealth and European champion added: “They can’t get away with it because you’ll lose all of the respect from the athletes and you can’t bully them.”

Many other high profile swimmers have backed Peaty, including World Champion Emily Seebohm and Olympic silver medalist Maddie Groves of Australia, and Olympic Champions Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden and Chad Le Clos of South Africa.

Australians Seebohm and Groves promised to go out on strike if the world swimming body FINA bans any other swimmer for taking part in any rival swimming competition, according to The Australian.

The star duo have fully supported the “one-in, all-in’’ approach adopted by 30 international Olympic and world champions at a crisis meeting in London this week, and they say other swimmers will also follow suit, if the world authority FINA continues to threaten two year sanctions against swimmers.


The furious swimmers have gathered in London after FINA refused to allow the ISL from holding a $5 million team-based competition this week in Turin, Italy.

FINA stated that the ISL was unsanctioned and last week launched its own Champions Swim Series, a virtual “copy-cat” format of what the ISL was trying to accomplish. But that only further damaged its relationship with some of the sport’s leading athletes. Peaty stated the decision was “embarrassing and offensive.”

Peaty was joined in London by Olympic Champions Sjostrom, Le Clos, Katinka HosszuRyan MurphyGregorio Paltrinieri and Federica Pellegrini.

The two-day conference, held at Stamford Bridge, home of football giant Chelsea FC, was being hosted by the ISL and its founder, Konstantin Grigorishin. The conference’s aim was to both educate swimmers in the structure of professional sports and for ISL to listen to the swimmers’ ideas on necessary changes to ensure an equitable distribution of enormous World and Olympic events revenues, according to a press release from the ISL obtained by Swimming World.

Grigorishin hopes FINA will acknowledge the ISL’s vision, and work with, not against, in the future.

During the conference, Grigorishin told swimmers: “We can co-exist with FINA and respect each other if they understand that their role is that of a regulator of rules not people. And they need to understand that athletes deserve their fair share of all revenues they generate as the stars of swimming.”

One of the biggest concerns of the athletes’ was the fact they receive only a small amount of the revenue generated by FINA. The ISL planned on a three month team-based commercial series set in late 2019, where the swimmers will receive 50 percent of the revenue, which the swimmers agreed to strongly support.

“Many swimmers can’t even pay their rent. For me it’s OK because I have sponsors but most swimmers work so hard but can barely afford to do it because they don’t get anything from it and I’m talking about Olympic swimmers who have to rely on their parents – it’s crazy and has to change,” Sjostrom told BBC Sport.

Seebohm told The Australian: “We hope it doesn’t get to that point, we want to find a solution, rather than having bans.’’

Groves said: “We hope FINA is reasonable and comes to a deal with the ISL because this is about making swimming more exciting and adding to the calendar and the sport, not detracting from it.’’

She then added: “There is a lot of momentum behind the ISL and it won’t go away, so FINA needs to come around.’’

The overall goal of the ISL was to provide a series of high profile events that would make swimming more popular to the general public in between Olympic Games.

In explaining ISL’s bottom line, Khan said: “Our goal is to promote swimming, expand its fan base, and to create opportunities for swimmers and the sport as a whole. FINA’s apparent goal, by contrast, is to maintain an iron grip on its unlawful control of the sport at the expense of swimmers and any would-be competitors. ISL believes that both the courts and the sport will see FINA’s latest copycat efforts for what they are: a further effort to prevent competition.”

FINA has since issued a statement responding to the International Swim League.

31 comments

  1. Byron Shefchik

    FINA is digging their own grave.

  2. Rich Davis

    Yeah, FINA wants to run a similar style of meet but keep all the money to themselves rather than give it to the athletes, the people who the fans are actually going to see.

  3. Andrea McHugh

    Thank you Adam ❤️

  4. Jessica Bauer

    Good for him! This whole thing is ridiculous.

  5. Andrew McCulloh

    Way to go Adam and Katinka and other pros! Supporting your efforts!

  6. Pedro Herrero

    Well done, more cracks should follow

  7. Shantay Haddix Rodo

    Philip Rodo
    Is the swimmer that Jess Guest knows??

  8. Calvin Reder

    More bureacrats who don’t care about anything but control

  9. Ryan Lupi

    I like his spunk. Glad to see other swimmers holding the same stance

  10. Gian Alessandro

    When will the national NGBs rise to overthrow FINA?

  11. Jakob Scheel

    Sebastian Engel Henri Scheel 😂

  12. Neil Strange

    Nice one Adam … too often we see these organisations ruin sport! Good for all of you standing up to the bureaucrats in the useless organisation known as FINA!!

  13. Prasetya AR

    And i’m sure the swimmers fans, Swimming fans, swimming parents will back them up.. they worked so hard. The greed of these regulator institutions are insatiable, not just Fina..
    Zeke Pine .. pls read this article

  14. Diego Ceres

    Go for it Adam💪💪💪

  15. Cam James

    Chris McFadden interesting call

    • Chris McFadden

      Cam James FINAs ridiculous

  16. Jean-Marc Soulas

    Amateur swimming bodies are leeches that have maintained this magnificent sport into the 19th century. Time to bring it in the light!

  17. Brent Fletcher

    I think the ISL will get more people swimming and keep those swimmers motivated. Fina is shooting themselves in the foot on this. They make bank on our sacrifices.

  18. Mike Sherrill

    Pull the curtain back on FINA. They’re only meaningful if the swimmers decide they are. They need swimmers a lot more than swimmers need them.

  19. avatar
    Kelly Mojica

    FINA seems very money hungry