FINA Responds to Lawsuit by Athletes, ISL


FINA responded to the recent lawsuit filed by Tom Shields, Michael Andrew and Katinka Hosszu, as well as ISL.

Below is their statement:

FINA would like to underline that respect for its rules—concerning the establishment of a coherent international calendar, the protection of athletes’ rights, and the development of the sport’s structure and organisation—are of paramount importance for the promotion and popularity of our six disciplines on a global scale.

As the world governing body for aquatic sports, FINA takes great pride in its proven ability to deliver events of the highest quality for swimmers from all over the world. Coordinating events in order to ensure a coherent competition calendar adds an extra level of complexity and this is a key criterion for FINA’s sanctioning of international competitions.

The project of the Italian Swimming Federation to organise a swimming competition in Turin at short notice did not meet all the necessary FINA rulebook requirements. These requirements are in place to ensure that international competitions provide the best possible conditions to all participating athletes while maintaining a healthy calendar.

The FINA competition calendar has evolved over many years through the active participation and collaboration of the National Federations. Changes to the calendar, received on short notice, are not consistent with FINA’s long-standing agreements and precedents, and undermine existing high-level competitions.

Aquatics athletes are at the core of FINA’s activities. They fully deserve all our respect for their effort and their devotion to the sport we all love. In recent years, FINA has been actively increasing recognition for athletes’ efforts at FINA events, by raising the prize money for those competitions, and by providing their respective National Federations additional tools for progress under our Development Programme.

On prize money, FINA can recall the 2017 edition of its World Championships in Budapest (HUN), where US$ 5.8 million were distributed to the best athletes, and the upcoming FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), where US$ 2.1 million will award the top swimmers in the competition. Concerning FINA’s Development Programme, the budget allocated for the different projects in the four-year cycle 2018-2021 will ascend to US$ 38 million.

FINA will continue developing appropriate business platforms to provide an attractive calendar of events, with the participation of the best athletes. Moreover, we continue welcoming any positive approach by a partner or sponsor to improve the value of the Aquatic disciplines.

— The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with FINA. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact

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  1. avatar

    Garbage statement! Doesn’t address the inequality of distribution of income! Also doesn’t address the monopolistic approach to underwriting of athletes. FINA is out dated, illegal and operates as a monopoly with its sole interest in the income and sustainability with no voice for the athlete or their wellbeing.

  2. Donald P. Spellman

    What a load of 🔥💩!
    The IOC and FINA need reforms and updating. They are just a few shades away from being as bad as FIFA (but at least with futbol’ there are PRO leagues that the players can go back to for more stable paychecks).

  3. Dirk G. Winkler

    I call BS on this…. healthy calendar? What is that? Have they seen the US swimming calender for age groupers? Lol

    • Donald P. Spellman

      Dirk G. Winkler : “Healthy” applies to their revenue streams only.

  4. Dirk G. Winkler

    And the numbers that they claim here are a joke in the big global picture of competitive swimming. We need Reform!!!

  5. Peter Scott

    It was reported that FINA demanded $50m to authorise the Turin event…..if true then is it the calender that is important or the $$$?. Did they demand that the Turin event PAY that $50m to the swimmers competing? Aparently not. So who would have benefited from any such payment? Not the swimmers for sure

  6. avatar

    And who is responsible for the “rubber suit” fiasco with first testing such a new technology before allowing it to be used? Was this in the interest of swimmers or swimming? Or perhaps FINA’s coffers?

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