Hun­gary’s swim­ming fed­er­a­tion to ad­dress ath­letes’ crit­i­cism

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Hun­gary’s swim­ming fed­er­a­tion promised yes­ter­day to ad­dress grow­ing com­plaints from ath­letes on is­sues rang­ing from fi­nan­cial sup­port to poor train­ing con­di­tions.

The fed­er­a­tion said it would com­pile and make public the swim­mers’ griev­ances and con­tinue its ef­forts to en­sure their suc­cess.

“The ath­letes, giv­ing their names or anony­mously, can say what would help them achieve even bet­ter re­sults,” the fed­er­a­tion said.

The state­ment came after sev­eral top swim­mers, in­clud­ing Olympic cham­pion Daniel Gyurta, ex­pressed doubts about the fed­er­a­tion, say­ing the in­sti­tu­tion was pri­or­i­tiz­ing its own in­ter­ests over those of the ath­letes.

“It is ev­i­dent that there is no or­der sur­round­ing Hun­gar­ian swim­ming,” Gyurta told news web­site 24.hu. “The sad­dest part is that this dam­ages the swim­mers, who this should all be about.”

The ath­letes’ com­ments came after three-time Olympic cham­pion Katinka Hosszu on Tues­day called for the res­ig­na­tion of fed­er­a­tion pres­i­dent Ta­mas Gyarfas. He re­jected her re­quest, say­ing it would be detri­men­tal to the sport.

In one dis­pute, the man­age­ment com­pany rep­re­sent­ing short-course world cham­pion Peter Bernek said that the swim­mer did not re­ceive money due from the fed­er­a­tion to train for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics be­cause of a dis­pute over a con­tract about the fed­er­a­tion’s use of Bernek’s name and image.

The Stron­gaa firm said that, based on its ex­pe­ri­ences, claims by Gyarfas that he and his col­leagues were do­ing ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to sup­port the swim­mers “are just empty phrases of low ve­rac­ity.”

Gyarfas, a for­mer jour­nal­ist, tele­vi­sion pro­ducer and news­pa­per pub­lisher, has presided over the Hun­gar­ian swim­ming fed­er­a­tion since 1993. He has been a mem­ber of the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee of FINA, the in­ter­na­tional fed­er­a­tion, since 2009. He is also a mem­ber of the Hun­gar­ian Olympic Com­mit­tee.

Bu­dapest will host the 2017 world swim­ming cham­pi­onships, and it is com­pet­ing with Paris and Los An­ge­les to host the 2024 Olympic Games.

Daniel Gyurta ex­pressed doubts about the fed­er­a­tion Pho­to­graph:AP

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