World swim body ends threat to ban breakaway meet athletes

January 15, 2019 - 8:20 am

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Swimming governing body FINA says athletes no longer face being banned for taking part in independently run competitions.

FINA has been criticized by top swimmers wanting more say in their sport and more opportunities to earn prize money.

Olympic and world champions filed an antitrust suit in California last month after FINA's threatened to ban swimmers who competed in a meeting linked to the proposed International Swimming League.

Now FINA says "swimmers are free to participate in competitions or events staged by independent organizers."

However, results and records will be unofficial if organizers fail to get FINA's approval, fit into the official events calendar, and run an approved doping control program.

FINA has countered the ISL with a proposed three-meet series paying $3.9 million total prize money.

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