Court of Arbitration for Sport Rules in Favor of FINA, Against Paolo Barelli

Photo Courtesy: Singapore Swimming Federation

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has dismissed the suit filed by Paolo Barelli against FINA, accusing the aquatic sports’ governing body of conflicts of interest relating to high offices within the FINA governance.

Specifically, Barelli accused FINA official Husain Al-Musallam and Dale Neuberger for violations of the FINA Code of Ethics. But both of those cases were dismissed, and Barelli will be forced to pay restitution in legal fees.

According to page five of the ruling concerning Mr. Al Musallam,

“The FINA Ethics Panel concluded that no structural or actual conflict of interest existed by virtue of Mr. Al Musallam’s holding of the various positions within FINA, while at the same time being the Director General of the OCA. The FINA Ethics Panel noted that circumstances might arise where a conflict could exist, however, there was no suggestion or evidence at the time that it did.”

Also in reference to allegations concerning Neuberger, the court wrote:

However, even if the FINA Ethics Panel were to decide on the allegations brought against Mr. Neuberber, these would not be of any direct, concrete or actual interest for the Appellant, The concerned election had been conducted and the Appellant elected.  The Appellant’s interest is no longer actual.

The 22-page PDF outlines the parties involved, Barelli and FINA, describes the timeline of filings and motions in length, and gives detail on the appealed decisions that occurred throughout the process.

Read the entire ruling PDF here. 


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Author: David Rieder

David Rieder is a staff writer for Swimming World. He has contributed to the magazine and website since 2009, and he has covered the NCAA Championships, U.S. Nationals, Olympic Trials as well as the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and the 2017 World Championships in Budapest. He is a native of Charleston, S.C., and a 2016 graduate of Duke University.

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