We All Deserve Better - Forbes Carlisle Response

We All Deserve Better – Forbes Carlisle Response

An appeal distributed to local and national swimming coaches around the world was made by John Leonard of the World Swimming Coaches Association. Below is the response from renowned Australian coach Forbes Carlile.

The original appeal is posted here.

I am delighted to read from recent correspondence that you are facing up to FINA in a pro-active manner by providing enlightenment in the form of evidence to American Swimming of continued ineptitude (and worse) shown by the FINA Bureau.


You ask the rhetorical question—”who is providing such evidence in Australia?”. Alas, nobody…. which is undoubtedly the situation in more than 200 other federations. I suggest that copies of what you send to the Board at Colorado Springs should also go to every Federation and, as I see Craig Lord suggests, to all leading media agencies.

At first up to 99.9+% effort with federations will fall on deaf ears for the reason, as you say, of self-interest of a few at the top. However, gradually, I believe, an understanding of FINA’s ill-deeds will get through to some, even in unexpected places, and the flame that will be kindled will bring about change.

Of course this can hardly be expected to be driven, unsupported, by a one-man crusade. Could a committee not be formed, to lead the charge aimed at transforming FINA into a more democratic, transparent and competent, day by day governance? This is not happening with the Bureau where Cornel Marculescu is clearly in control.

I feel sure such an initiative generated in America, will gather support there and beyond. This will lay the basis for a wider demand for a movement aimed at changing FINA’s culture which lies fundamentally in reforming, in changing the Bureau. Of course “Vortex” Editor, Craig Lord with his inside knowledge of FINA, stands out as a prime supporter, but there must also be others respected internationally, who will be prepared to stand with him and back strong “remedial” action.

I suggest that a “manifesto” should be written setting out aims for reform, at least in principle, with a reminder of the history of FINA’s prolonged inaction to doping by the East Germans and then the Chinese.

The Bureau seemingly being reluctant to take action, even today with Russia under serious allegations of doping infractions. FINA’s history and its integrity are also permanently compromised by the “fast” swim suits (2008) debacle, where at the 2009 Congress, the Bureau fought to the bitter end to allow the manufacturers’ blatant fraud to continue.

Chances for reform in the foreseeable future may appear to be slim, but with no action, by complaining and sitting on our hands change will be a vain hope.

It is time to set up a committee with the aim of safeguarding the integrity of the sport.

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