Swimming’s world governing body FINA has strongly criticized the organizers of next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro over what it says are substandard facilities and “disrespect” for aquatic events.
FINA, which oversees some of the Olympics’ most-watched events, attacked the organizers and Rio mayor Eduardo Paes on various grounds including slashing the seating capacity at the main pool, according to a FINA letter obtained by The Associated Press.
Athletes’ health and safety could be at risk over viruses in the area of sea used for open water swimming events and organizers’ decision to use an open-air venue for diving, water polo and synchronized swimming, FINA warns.
The letter, dated Monday and addressed by FINA president Julio Maglione to Paes and the organizing committee, was circulated among leading swimming figures.
It suggests relations are at breaking point.
“The recent decisions of Mr. Eduardo Paes … are seriously damaging the image and value of FINA and its disciplines,” the letter states. “This situation is in clear disrespect for the FINA requirements concerning aquatic venues, and will negatively affect the safety conditions and the level of performances of our athletes.”