Swimming: Scandal threatens Fina on eve of world championships

An athlete competes in the Women Solo technical preliminary during the synchronised swimming competition at the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest, on July 14, 2017.
An athlete competes in the Women Solo technical preliminary during the synchronised swimming competition at the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest, on July 14, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

Budapest (AFP) - Swimming's governing body Fina has been drawn into a commission scandal days before both their presidential elections and the start of the swimming events at the world championships.

Kuwait's Husain Al Musallam, who is standing unopposed as Fina's first vice-president, has been caught up in a controversy for appearing to demand a 10 per cent cut of potential sponsorship deals in a tape recording obtained by The Times and Germany's Spiegel Online.

In his role as general director of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), the 57-year-old is heard asking a business partner for "commissions" on deals worth "40 to 50 million" dollars (S$54.72 to S$68.4 million).

The exchange is said to be between a prospective Chinese marketing agent and Musallam, who suggested that 10 per cent of any sponsorship deals arranged for the OCA should be separately channelled to him.

Fina have yet to comment on the scandal that comes ahead of their elections in Budapest on Saturday and Sunday's start of swimming action at the world championships in the Hungarian capital.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) told The Times and Der Spiegel that it had passed the allegations to its chief ethics investigator.