Scandal threatens FINA on eve of world championships
Budapest, Hungary - Swimming's governing body FINA has been drawn into a commission scandal days before both their presidential elections and the start of the swimming events at the world championships.
Kuwait's Husain al Musallam, who is standing unopposed as FINA's first vice-president, has been caught up in a controversy for appearing to demand a ten per cent cut of potential sponsorship deals in a tape recording obtained by The Times and Germany's Spiegel Online.
In his role as director-general of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), the 57 year old is heard asking a business partner for 'commissions' on deals worth "40 to 50 million" dollars.
The exchange is said to be between a prospective Chinese marketing agent and Musallam, who suggested that ten per cent of any sponsorship deals arranged for the OCA should be separately channelled to him.
FINA has yet to comment on the scandal that comes ahead of its elections in Budapest on Saturday and Sunday's start of swimming action at the world championships in Budapest.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) told The Times and Der Spiegel that it had passed the allegations to its chief ethics investigator. It is not the first time this year that Musallam has courted controversy. In April, The Times revealed, he was effectively identified in a US Department of Justice indictment as a co-conspirator who allegedly paid bribes to a football official.
Musallam is the right-hand man of Olympic powerbroker and OCA president Sheikh Ahmad al Fahad al Sabah, who in April resigned from his FIFA post after being identified as a co-conspirator, along with Musallam, in the US indictment.
The recording obtained by The Times has emerged from the FBI investigation into Musallam and Sheikh Ahmad.
Husain al Musallam