The Week That Was: Danas Rapsys Pulls Out of ISL in Favor of FINA World Cup

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Danas Rapsys will not be swimming in the ISL this season. Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

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The International Swimming League has continued to dominate the headlines in the month of September. As the inaugural league inches nearer and nearer, some of the world’s best swimmers are beginning to drop out to focus on long course swimming, most notably Lithuania’s Danas Rapsys. He has indicated that he wants to focus on long course swimming and says he will earn more money swimming in the FINA World Cup this fall.

The DC Trident finalized its all-female coaching staff with Stefanie Williams and Rachel Stratton-Mills officially coming on board alongside Cyndi Gallagher. The New York Breakers also announced Peter Andrew as head coach of the team as all four US-based teams have finalized their coaching staffs.

In industry news, arena bought out former rival Diana as the two Italian companies will merge.

Read the five biggest stories from last week in the week that was.

The Week That Was #5: RUSADA Given Three Weeks to Explain Moscow Lab Inconsistencies

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Russian flag. Photo Courtesy: FINA / Budapest 2019

Russian sport is under scrutiny once more. RUSADA, the Russian anti-doping agency, and the Russian Ministry of Sport have been given three weeks to respond to a report from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Intelligence and Investigations department and independent forensic experts that highlights inconsistencies in the laboratory data Moscow needed to provide before the country could return to being accepted back into the international sports fold.

The data was handed over as part of the deal that would see Russia return to full participation in international sport. Since the data was “retrieved” from Moscow in January this year, 47 new anti-doping cases have been opened, many still being reviewed by International Federations (IFs). Several disciplinary proceedings have begun as a result.

Now, WADA wants explanations as to why some of the data from Moscow appears too have been manipulated. Those cases are believed to include data on swimmers.

The Week That Was #4: Stefanie Williams, Rachel Stratton-Mills Complete All-Female Staff For DC Trident

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Stefanie Williams will be an assistant for the DC Trident. Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Just days after DC Trident general manager Kaitlin Sandeno announced Cyndi Gallagher as the head coach of the ISL team, the team also announced the additions of Rachel Stratton-Mills and Stefanie Williams Moreno as assistant coaches. This comes after Sandeno announced the team would be led by an all-female coaching staff to be the first major professional sports team to do so.

The DC Trident will be swimming in the very first International Swimming League meet in Indianapolis October 5-6 along with the Cali CondorsAqua Centurions and Energy Standard.

The Week That Was #3: Peter Andrew to Coach New York Breakers

Peter Andrew will be the coach of the NY Breakers. Photo Courtesy: Christopher Rattray

Peter Andrew was announced as the head coach for the New York Breakers of the International Swimming League. Andrew is the father of Breakers swimmer Michael Andrew and is also the wife of general manager Tina Andrew, so this comes as no surprise.

Peter Andrew will be joined on staff by Wayne Riddin, who coaches NCAA champion Brad Tandy and World University Games gold medalist Tayla Lovemore. Both of those swimmers are also on the New York Breakers team that will begin competing in the new ISL October 18-19 in Lewisville, Texas.

Andrew is the fourth and final US coach to be announced as Gregg Troy is the head coach of the Cali Condors, Cyndi Gallagher will lead the DC Trident, and David Marsh will lead the LA Current. Melanie Marshall will also be the head coach of the London Roar.

The Week That Was #2: arena Buys Out Former Rival Diana

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Katinka Hosszu, one of arena’s most marketable athletes; Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Arena, the three-diamonds swim brand based in Tolentino, has bought the global brand rights of its former rival Diana. The agreement brings together two Italian brands “with a total of 118 years of excellence in the field of aquatic sportswear,” arena noted.

Founded in 1947 in Merate (Lecco), in northern Italy, Diana took its name from the ancient Greek hunting goddess, from which the company logo – the arrow – was born and registered in 1972. The company began its life producing lingerie in 1955 before moving into the swimwear market. In 1975, Diana produced the first anti-grip water polo suit, as well as the first mono-block bonnet with frontal protection for water polo players.

A joint statement issued by CEOs of the brands, Giuseppe Musciacchio and Luca Selvatici, noted:

“The alignment of the philosophy and ethics of arena with those of Diana made acquisition a natural choice. The Diana brand still has a worldwide reach and reputation in the entire swimming community. We believe it has great potential to be further developed and that its legacy and its DNA they adapt very well to the medium and long-term strategic goals of arena. We see interesting opportunities with Diana, both in the expansion of our product portfolio and in the geographical expansion in new countries and regions, including Asia.”

The Week That Was #1: Danas Rapsys Drops Out of International Swimming League in Favor of World Cup

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Danas Rapsys at the FINA Champions Series in Indianapolis. Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Lithuania’s Danas Rapsys, who notably touched first in the 200 free final at the World Championships this summer before being disqualified for flinching at the start, announced this week he will not be participating in the first season of the International Swimming League. Rapsys was originally signed to swim for the Energy Standard team alongside world and Olympic champions Chad Le Clos, Sarah Sjostrom and Anton Chupkov.

But Rapsys indicated he wanted to be focusing on long course in the next year in preparation for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. All of the World Cup stops this fall will be held in long course in contrast to the ISL meets that will be in short course meters. Some athletes have said that they are looking forward to racing in SCM to get their minds off of racing long course, but athletes like Rapsys are thinking differently.