USA Swimming Releases Statement on Energy for Swim Meet Participation

Photo Credit: Cathleen Pruden

In October, the Energy Standard Group and the International Swimming League (ISL) announced another round of the Energy for Swim Meet to be held in Torino, Italy. The meet will be held from Dec. 20-21, 2018 following the conclusion of the 2018 Short Course World Championships.

Competing athletes are invited to the meet and are then divided into teams to race for prize money. Last year, the teams were USA, Australia, Italy, and Energy Standard.

This year, Olympians including Emily Seebohm, Tom Shields and Sarah Sjostrom have already committed to swimming in the meet. However, as more confirmations came in including those from Adam Peaty, Duncan Scott and Ben Proud, FINA has also proposed to suspend participants.

The reason for suspension stems from the fact that the ISL did not get FINA approval six months prior to the meet. According to the BBC, the ISL attempted to get approval, but was denied (potentially because the Energy for Swim Meet would rival the FINA World Cup Series). FINA has made it clear that they do not support or recognize the ISL.

In an open letter posted in June, the organization stated:

“FINA has neither sanctioned the competitions organised by this entity, nor approved their sanction by other FINA bodies (continental, regional and national bodies). Consequently, the competitions of the ‘International Swimming League’ are not FINA sanctioned nor FINA approved. They are not part of the international calendar. The results and records achieved in these competitions are not and will not be recognised.”

The controversy has not stopped athletes from committing to the meet and advertising for it via social media. With multiple USA National Team Members already committed to the meet, Swimming World reached out to USA Swimming Managing Director Lindsay Mintenko for an update on where the governing body stands on this issue:

“We would like to remain positive and hope that all sides can come to a resolution regarding the proposed competition in Torino, Italy. Our priority is to offer as many opportunities for our athletes as possible, while also remaining compliant with FINA rules. We have endeavored to provide U.S. athletes with factual information regarding the current state of the competition, and any possible associated challenges as shared by FINA.”

Swimming World will provide updates as they become available.

Inside the Games and the BBC contributed to this report.

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