FINA Changes Course; Thank the Captain!

Guest editorial by John Leonard

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida, September 27. JUST as FINA was about to wreck itself on the rocks of autocratic Rule by its Executive Director and Honorable Secretary, the steering wheel has been turned by its President and his good influence on the FINA Bureau.

President Julio Maglione has proven himself a friend of the Federations, the coaches and the athletes by arguing the case for Federation input into the proposals to be put forth for next summer's FINA Constitutional Congress. He made his case so strongly during the Bureau Meeting in Uruguay last weekend that an initially-oppositional Bureau swung all the way around and unanimously agreed to allow all Federations to contribute ideas for the good governance of the sport.

The Bureau went one better….the proposals reportedly will reach the floor of the Congress and a vote without a formal declaration by the Bureau for either support or opposition to each item. (Typically, every proposal comes forward with a recommendation from the Bureau, which makes it close to impossible for any that are opposed by the Bureau to get a fair hearing.)

So months after the other two members of the Executive attempted to have only their unique stamp on the Constitution to be put forward to Congress, FINA has regained its footing for democratic process, under a President who was elected behind a mantra of Democracy, transparency and good governance.

Thank you Dr. Julio Maglione!

The next step in this process will be the re-submission of items for the Congress from the other Bureau Members and Federations. We know that the Bureau Members of Asia, LEN and the Americas submitted more than 100 recommendations that, until this weekend, were doomed to never see the light of day in the FINA Congress. Now, they will be presented, and voted upon by the Federation Members.

After a brief and highly concerning detour, FINA Democratic Process has returned.