Swimmer Adam Peaty warns Fina: ‘I don’t care, ban me if you’ve got to’
Briton risks Olympic defence over backing of the International Swimming League
British star swimmer Adam Peaty has challenged the sport’s global governing body Fina to ban him over his backing of the new rebel International Swimming League (ISL).
The current Olympic, world, European and Commonwealth champion is at loggerheads with Fina over revenue splits and the ISL.
Fina has recently launched its own new competition - the Champions Swim Series - and the BBC reports there’s a prize fund of £4m. However, the ISL is promising swimmers a 50-50 share of at least £10m.
Last week Fina stated that the ISL was unsanctioned and that any swimmers involved would be threatened with a ban from next year’s World Championships. ISL had planned an event this month but it was cancelled after Fina’s threat.
Speaking to BBC Sport Peaty, 23, said: “I don’t care, ban me if you’ve got to. I’m not bothered because at the end of the day they know they can’t.
“[The] £4m in prize money is nothing in terms of what they’ll make off that league - they’ll make much more. We need transparency and 50-50 split of the profits.
“I love my sport to the moon and back but the main reason people quit swimming all over the world is because there isn’t enough funding. I want to secure the future for the kids who are going to be winning Olympics in 20 years and hopefully making a living out of it.”
Tokyo 2020 boycott
The Times reports that Peaty is not just prepared to be banned but would also risk his Olympic defence at the Tokyo 2020 games if it would persuade Fina to offer a 50-50 “fair share” of the revenues.
Peaty was among 30 swimmers who met in London yesterday to discuss the launch of a new professional association. The new body aims to negotiate a greater share of Fina’s annual revenues of more than $100m (£79m).
The Times adds that the rebel ISL is “aiming to crush Fina’s 110-year monopoly of the sport” with its 50% revenue split.
Peaty said: “Fina leaders need to understand that we want a 50-50 fair share of the revenue generated by athletes and their hard work. That’s what ISL are offering.
“The athletes have all just agreed that we’ll be standing together and Fina must know we are going to have that leverage. If they ban one athlete we can all go - we’re all in it together and that’s how the sport needs to go.
“I’m not going to be bullied into a corner, especially by some guy sitting in his blazer a thousand miles away who doesn’t have any interaction with the sport and athletes.”