Last chance to reunite swimming community

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SUSAN PAPA

(First part)
If there is a time to unify the swimming community, it is now.

“I can not wait any longer, the unification must be now,” said an Olympian swimmer who I will identify at the right time.

“I have been patiently waiting for more than a decade, I do not want to see any more swimmers be destroyed or ruined because of the ongoing system in the Philippine swimming. Since Philippine Swimming, Inc. (PSi) President Mark Joseph is not in the country, Lani Velasco is running the PSi,” the Olympian added.

There were people who exerted effort so that Philippine Swimming League (PSL) and PSi meet on the table.

PSL agreed, and so did Velasco when we talked on the phone.

However, this plan has been cancelled twice by Velasco herself.

One reason why Velasco did not appear, according to sources, is that Ral Rosario stopped her. It was found out that Rosario and his group has their own plan to conduct PSi election only for members.

The holding of an election by Rosario was deemed valid. But the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) refused to recognize the election since there was no POC representative during the poll.

Let me just point out also that during the convention of all National Sports Association (NSA) conducted by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), I was told by PSC Commissioner Ramon “Mon” Fernandez that Velasco agreed and promised that there will be swimming competition among PSi and non-PSi members when it comes to the selection for the Philippine National Swimming Team.

However, Velasco again did not fulfill that promise.

We must all remember that Joseph appointed Velasco and the way it is going now, it looks like Joseph who is not in the country because of the criminal charges filed against him, is still behind the actions of Velasco, the current PSi Secretary-General

I also learned that Velasco is holding on FINA rules, the rules that destroyed many swimmers.

Let me once more cite this for better understanding of the Philippine Swimming Community:

“The Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) Unauthorized Rule: The FINA General Rules 2013-2017, which apply to all FINA competitions in all kinds of swimming, open water swimming, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming, and Masters Competition, contains the following Rule on ”Unauthorized Relations” (under scoring supplied). GR 4.1 No affiliated Member shall have any kind of relationship with a non-affiliated or suspended body. GR 4.2 The exchange of competitors, administrators, directors, judges, officials, trainers, coaches, etc., with non-affiliated or suspended bodies is not permissible. GR 4.3 The holding of demonstrations and/or exhibitions, clinics, training, competitions, etc., with non-affiliated or suspended bodies is not permissible. GR 4.4 The Bureau may authorize relations with non-affiliated or suspended bodies as in Rules GR 4.1 through GR 4.3 above. GR 4.5 Any individual or group violating this Rule shall be suspended by the affiliated Member for a minimum period of one year, up to a maximum period of two years. FINA retains the right to review the suspension made by the affiliated Member and to increase it up to the maximum of two years in accordance with the circumstances involved. The affiliated Member shall abide by any such increase made on review. In the event that such individual or group has resigned its membership with the affiliated Member or is not a Member, it shall not be allowed to affiliate with that Member for a minimum period of three months up to a maximum period of two years. FINA retains the right to review any such sanction imposed by the affiliated Member and to increase it up to the maximum of two years in accordance with the circumstances involved. The affiliated Member shall abide by any such increase made on review. GR 4.6 Each Member that conducts a competition shall strictly enforce the FINA Rules governing eligibility.”

The rules were used by PSi to manipulate the swimming community to control leadership. There was deceit.

The rule clearly said FINA competitions are tryout for Philippine National Team selection and not a FINA competition. The tryout is to choose the best and deserving athletes who have the right to carry the Philippine flag. If the FINA rule will continue to exist, it will be going against the Philippine constitution.

Further, this rule is destroying many if not all of our many potential swimmers.

Of this rule, many were deprived of the national tryout, meaning selections for the Philippine National Team, which the past PSC tolerated being the Regulatory Board in Sports.

“Velasco seems to know everything, yet she does not know anything,” the Olympian said.

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