Times from Controversial Uzbekistan Meets Missing from FINA Rankings


Times from Controversial Uzbekistan Meets Missing from FINA Rankings

Times from a pair of meets in Uzbekistan have been removed from FINA’s official rankings after allegations over timing fraud have been levied against that country.

The times include not only results from last month’s Uzbekistan Swimming Championships that spawned the allegations but from November’s Uzbekistan Open, affecting three Olympic A cuts and a B cut from foreign swimmers.

The times disappearing from the rankings include the 100 freestyle A cut by Aleksey Tarasenko and A cuts in the 100 butterfly by Adilbek Yusupboev and Eldor Usmonov that were attained last month. Those times had been in the rankings but no longer appear there. (It’s worth noting that as of Sunday night, the 100 free A cut for Andre Calvelo at Brazilian Olympic Trials remains in the rankings despite a provisional suspension for a positive doping test).

Indian swimmer Sajan Prakah’s time in the 200 fly from Uzbekistan is also not in the FINA rankings, with a 1:58.03 from 2019 standing as his best. Also not included is the 52.74 posted by Prakash in the 100 fly.

The latter time is the fastest ever by an Indian man, undercutting the 52.77 by Virdhawal Khade in 2009, but the Swimming Federation of India has refused to ratify that record. A time by Adithya Dinesh that would’ve been an Olympic B cut is also not ratified.

Monal Chokshi, the secretary general of the Swimming Federation of India, confirmed to Swimming World that FINA is reviewing the results of the Uzbekistan Open. FINA has not responded to a request for comment or clarification.

Those times stem from an April meet in Tashkent. One of the participants in that meet, Indian breaststroker Likith Prema, posted a video detailing allegations of timing fraud and irregularities during the meet to benefit Uzbekistani swimmers. Prema alleges that Indian swimmers were offered lowered times to look the other way, and Prema was threatened over an in-meet protest in which he refused to leave the block.

The suspicions over Uzbekistan’s meet practices appear to have expanded in scope. A foreign delegation that included 14 swimmers from the Czech Republic and seven from Kyrgyzstan competed at the Uzbekistan Open last November. That meet supplied three national records for Czech swimmersBarbora Seemanova in the 200 free (1:56.96) and 400 free (4:08.89) and Kristyna Horska in the 200 breast (2:25.24). The 200 free for Seemanova and 200 breast for Horska are A cuts. However, they don’t appear in the rankings as of Sunday night.

According to FINA’s list of rankings, Seemanova is still on there but with an A cut of 1:57.16 from the 2019 World Championships in the 200 free. Her top time in the 400 free in listed as a B cut in 4:09.73. Horska’s top time in the 200 breast is listed as a 2:26.93 from February.

Horska and Seemanova joined Simona Kubova and Lucie Svecena to go 4:03.02 in the 400 medley relay, putting the Czech Republic in consideration for an Olympic at-large berth.

Another A cut was produced at that meet, with Kyrgyzstan’s Denis Petrashov going 59.87. That time is not listed in the rankings. Instead, the top time appearing in the rankings by his name is a 1:00.94 he set at April’s Russian Championships, which is a B cut. The times from Uzbekistan for Seemanova, Horska and Petrashov are all listed under their FINA bios but do not appear as their top time in the rankings, as is the case for other swimmers. A spokesperson from the Czech Swimming Federation said they had not been informed as to any investigation regarding those times.

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1 year ago

Hopefully that won’t stop there, people responsible for these manipulation should be banned from sport