The board of trustees of the Philippine Swimming Inc. is appealing the decision of FINA, the world governing body for swimming, after it decided to withdraw its recognition on their association.
Last Dec. 3, Velasco and members of the PSI board were informed FINA’s move to establish a Stabilization Committee that will run the PSI’s day-to-day operations.
The board asked for clarification after the FINA acted on a complaint of ‘bad governance’ against PSI officials.
“We are respectfully appealing the decision of the FINA Bureau as stated in the letter dated December 3, 2022. In addition, we respectfully request that PSI, through Ms. Lailani M. Velasco, be given access to the complaints that were filed and be given the opportunity to respond to the same in accordance with the FINA Constitution,” said the board in a letter.
The Stabilization Committee is empowered to to “conduct the proper and necessary amendments of the [PSI] Constitution and organize and conduct a new election.”
Philippine Olympic Committee legal head Atty. Wharton Chan and deputy secretary general Valeriano “Bones” Floro and Bases Conversion Development Authority senior vice president Arrey Perez were recently named as members of the committee.
“The BOT has always respected and fully abided by the FINA Constitution and all directives of FINA. However, with all due respect, the BOT views with grave concern the manner and conduct of the said investigation made by FINA,” said the PSI in its statement.
The FINA directive was signed by the international federation’s executive director Brent Nowicki and was emailed to Velasco, with the POC and the Philippine Sports Commission furnished with emailed copies.
The FINA directive is effective immediately.
The PSI board said that requirements of due process, fairness, and equity demand that, at the very least, PSI, through the Board of Trustees, should have first been informed of the nature and cause of complaints against it and be given the opportunity to respond to the charges lodged before FINA.
The FINA decision stemmed from various complaints it received from stakeholders in Philippine swimming. This includes one from a parent, whose swimmer-daughter won gold at the Hanoi Southeast Asian Games last May, but was excluded from the national team to the Budapest world championships last June.