ISL CEO Ali Khan: “Too Late” For “Out of Touch” FINA

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Photo Courtesy: Taylor Brien

Swimmers from around the world have spoken out against the world’s governing body of the sport, FINA, especially in recent weeks.

But a lawsuit filed by Tom Shields, Michael Andrew and Katinka Hosszu, along with the International Swimming League (ISL) has elevated the issue to more than talk.

More and more swimmers, including Adam Peaty, Cate Campbell and Chad le Clos have continued to speak out and support the ISL, even after the premier event of the league, the Energy for Swim, was cancelled this month.

It is for this reason that ISL is continuing its push forward after filing a lawsuit separate from the athletes against FINA, for violating U.S. antitrust laws.

“I believe FINA is out of touch with respect to what is happening in global sports,” ISL CEO Ali Khan told insidethegames. “Whatever they now do will be too little too late for the athletes. Hence why the swimmers are reacting in this manner.”

Several prominent swimmers, including prominent U.S. swimmers, had committed to the Energy for Swim meet, showing the support is growing.

But it was cancelled after FINA threatened to suspend athletes who participated in a non-sanctioned event.

“We ruled that the event was an international competition, which it very obviously was. The calendar for international competitions does need to be carefully thought out,” FINA President Julio Maglione told insidethegames. “FINA is ready to consider proposals for commercial partnerships but always in compliance with our rules. It is very important for FINA that the sport, its athletes and coaches, and their respective National Federations take the necessary benefit for their effort, thus developing even further our aquatic disciplines.”

The action and threat of action has rallied more swimmers, led by Peaty, who said this issue will “galvanize” swimmers.

“Adam, a world and Olympic champion, has his perspective, and like the views of any aquatics athlete, we do listen to what Adam says,” Maglione told insidethegames. “In Hangzhou, FINA will engage with its Athletes Committee on this and other matters.”

Read the full insidethegames article here.

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