Six Polish swimmers have been controversially sent home from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games due to an administrative error
Poland had formerly sent 23 swimmers to the Tokyo Games – but now the country’s swimming federation has been forced to cut the squad down to 17 due to the world swimming governing body Fina’s qualifying rules.
PZP President Pawel Slominski retracted and said he completely agreed with the anger of the swimmers who returned home over the weekend.
I express great regret, sadness and bitterness about the situation related to the qualification of our swimmers for the Olympic Games in Tokyo,” Slominski said in a statement.
“Such a situation should not take place, and the reaction of the swimmers, their emotions, the attack on the Polish Swimming Federation is understandable to me and justified.”
Slominski added that the error was due to the “desire to allow as many players and coaches as possible to take part in the Games”
The six swimmers were identified in reports as Alicja Tchorz, Bartosz Piszczorowicz, Aleksandra Polanska, Mateusz Chowaniec, Dominika Kossakowska and Jan Holub.
Two of the athletes chatted about their anger at the error and the way in which they were sent home from a game they had trained for with the utmost dedication.
Tchorz, who competed at the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Olympic Games, issued a furious statement on Facebook.
“Imagine dedicating five years of your life and striving for another start at the most important sporting event … giving up your private life and work, sacrificing your family … your dedication results in a total flop,” Tchorz said.
Chowaniec added on Instagram: “I’m deeply shocked by what happened … this is an absurd situation for me that should never have happened.
IN FACT, I HOPE TO WAKE UP FROM THIS NIGHTMARE EVENTUALLY.
A number of Polish swimmers have signed an open letter, demanding the resignation of the Polish swimming federation’s entire board.
“The actions of the Association led to an unprecedented event in the history of Polish sport,” the letter read.
“In addition, Polish swimming – both in the eyes of the public and potential sponsors – has been exposed as a laughing stock. and it will have a glaring effect on all competitors who compete in the white and red colours on a daily basis.
“We appeal to the president and the entire board to resign immediately.”