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Olympics: Polish swimmers sent home from Tokyo amid paperwork chaos

19.07.2021 09:30
Six swimmers have returned to Warsaw after being excluded from the Polish team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics due to what was described as procedural errors in the submission process.
Polish swimmer Jan Hołub talks to reporters at Warsaw Airport after arriving from Tokyo on Sunday.
Polish swimmer Jan Hołub talks to reporters at Warsaw Airport after arriving from Tokyo on Sunday.Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

Jan Hołub, Alicja Tchórz, Aleksandra Polańska, Dominika Kossakowska, Bartosz Piszczorowicz and Mateusz Chowaniec were originally named to the Polish lineup as relay-only swimmers, but they were mistakenly entered by the Polish Swimming Federation (PZP) into the individual competition, for which a formal invitation from the International Swimming Federation (FINA) is required, news outlets reported.

On Saturday, less than a week before the Tokyo Olympics, FINA said it would not allow the six Poles to compete in the Games.

Despite an attempt by the Polish Olympic Committee to intervene, the International Olympic Committee, the Organizing Committee of the Games and FINA said they could not change the start lists, Poland's PAP news agency reported.

Hołub told reporters after arriving at Warsaw airport on Sunday that he felt “deceived” by the Polish Swimming Federation and had no longer confidence in it.

“The Polish Swimming Federation acted in an unprofessional way,” he said. "As far as I know, there is no one in the PZP at the moment who knows the right procedures … and hence the situation."

Meanwhile, Tchórz, another disappointed Polish swimmer, wrote in a social media post that she and her colleagues “have been deprived of their dreams by incompetent officials.”

Polish swimmer Alicja Tchórz. Alicja Tchórz. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

The head of the Polish Swimming Federation, Paweł Słomiński, has issued a statement in which he apologized to the swimmers, their coaches, and sports fans.

(mrs/gs)

Source: PAP