REPORT: Australian Swimming League Left Floundering As Founding Project Manager “Convicted of Tax Fraud”

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FLOUNDERING: The planned Australian Swimming League could be doomed before it gets to the starting blocks. Image Courtesy Swimming Australia.

REPORT: Australian Swimming League Left Floundering As Founding Project Manager “Convicted of Tax Fraud”

While Australia enjoyed its best Olympics ever in the pool the state of the sport both domestically and internationally is undergoing a dramatic chain of events with troubling reports surfacing that continue to rock the sport.

Hot on the heels of a threatened walk out by competitors contesting the International Swimming League (ISL) over money owed to teams and contractors comes more news today from the The Age and Sun Herald newspapers that Australia’s own planned Swim League could well be struggling to stay afloat before it even gets to the starting blocks.

The report claims that he project’s founder and principal investor David Brandi, a prominent Melbourne business owner and property investor “was convicted of tax fraud and banned from serving as a company director.”

Brandi first approached Swimming Australia with the idea of a teams-based Australian Swimming league (ASL) last year and it was launched before Tokyo and then delayed because of COVID.

Melbourne-based Brandi is serving a two-year, wholly suspended jail term after pleading guilty to dishonestly obtaining a gain from the Commonwealth. He was disqualified from managing a corporation for five years.

“Mr Brandi’s guilty plea was entered in the Victorian County Court on July 26 — seven days after Swimming Australia and the ASL issued a joint release announcing their “ground-breaking” new league. It was originally planned to launch this month but has been postponed for 12 months,” writes respected investigative reporter Chip Le Grande.

Today’s report in The Age and Sun Herald referred to “The International Swimming League, a professional competition founded three years ago by Ukranian-born billionaire Konstantin Grigorishin, serves as a cautionary tale about the pitfalls of sporting start-ups with the paper confirming that “the European-based ISL, already indebted to suppliers, still owes money to swimmers for last year’s competition and unless those payments are met, the ISL could face a walk-out by competitors ahead of next month’s finals series (in Eindhoven).

READ THE FULL STORY HERE

REPORT: Athletes Considering Boycott of ISL Playoffs Over Missed Payments

Meanwhile several of Australia’s leading swimmers led by Emma McKeon, Kylie Chalmers and Madi Wilson have continued on their merry way, dominating the Fina World Cup Series as they prepare for the ISL play-offs with the London Roar….with all-eyes on the outcome of a financial stand-off before the scheduled ISL play-offs in early November.

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