6 Swimmers Told to Go Home After Arriving at Olympics


Newser 21 July, 2021 - 02:33pm 5 views

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(Newser) – Being told you haven't qualified for the Olympic team is a tough blow for any athlete. But for six members of Poland's swimming team, it was all the more devastating because they had already taken the Olympic oath and traveled to Japan. The six swimmers flew back to Warsaw Sunday—days after they had been celebrated on their departure—because the country's swimming federation had mistakenly sent too many athletes and had to trim the total from 23 to 17, the Washington Post reports. A Polish journalist shared a video of the athletes saying farewell to other members of the delegation. Swimmers including Alicja Tchorz, who would have been competing in her third Olympics, are calling for the resignation of the board of Poland's swimming federation, reports the New York Times.

"Imagine dedicating 5 years of your life and striving for another start at the most important sporting event ... giving up your private life and work, sacrificing your family," but "6 days before the grand finale, it turns out that you were denied your dreams because of the incompetence of third parties," Tchorz wrote in a Facebook post. Pawel Slominski, president of the country's swimming federation, issued a statement saying he understands the swimmers' anger, reports Reuters. "The reaction of the swimmers, their emotions, the attack on the Polish Swimming Federation is understandable to me and justified," he wrote, though he added that the international federation behind the rules and Poland's Olympic committee should also share the blame for the mistake, as they did not provide the requested clarity on the situation until last Wednesday. (Read more Tokyo Olympics stories.)

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Polish swimmers livid after being sent home from Tokyo Olympics in qualifying bungle

The Washington Post 21 July, 2021 - 08:10pm

Only to be told once they got there that they didn’t qualify.

Alicja Tchorz, an Olympian at the 2012 London Games and 2016 Rio Games, took to social media to vent her frustration over missing her third Olympics because of an apparent administrative bungle.

“Imagine dedicating 5 years of your life and striving for another start at the most important sporting event … giving up your private life and work, sacrificing your family etc.,” she wrote Sunday in a Facebook post.

All that dedication resulted in a “total flop,” she said. She wrote that she was struggling to gather her thoughts as she packed her suitcase to return to Warsaw, angry that she had been denied her dreams “because of the incompetence of third parties.”

A statement signed by members of the swimming team demanded the resignation of the president of the Polish Swimming Federation, Paweł Słomiński, and the management board.

In a four-page statement explaining the error, Słomiński expressed “regret, sadness and bitterness” about the athletes’ situation.

He attempted to apportion some of the blame on the country’s Olympic committee, and the international federation that sets the qualifying rules, saying that he did not receive a clear message from either until July 14 regarding his request to accept the six swimmers to compete.

The Polish swimming officials’ desire, he said, was “to allow as many players and coaches as possible to take part" in the Olympics.

The swimming federation president also noted that many of the team’s Olympic preparations were carried out during a “very difficult period of the pandemic” with the country’s swimming pools closed.

The International Olympic Committee didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the reasons for the swimmers’ disqualification, and how they made it as far as Tokyo before learning of the issue.

All six were originally named to the Polish lineup as relay-only swimmers, according to the swimming news website SwimSwam. Olympic qualification standards specify that each nation may enter relay-only athletes provided they have at least achieved the "B" standard for the corresponding stroke and distance of the relay in which they are entered. But Poland reportedly filled more than its allowed spots and had to decide who should leave.

A video shared on Twitter by a Polish journalist showed the dejected athletes sharing hugs with their teammates before leaving Tokyo over the weekend.

Mateusz Chowaniec, another of the six swimmers to be sent home, wrote on Instagram that he was “deeply shocked” by what he described as incompetent management.

“This is an absurd situation for me that should never have happened,” he wrote. “In fact, I hope to wake up from this NIGHTMARE eventually!”

The swimmers’ early departure puts a question mark over Poland’s ability to piece together enough swimmers to compete in relays, especially the women’s 4x100 meter freestyle and the men’s 4x200 meter relay, SwimSwam reported. Swimming events begin July 24.

The Tokyo Olympics begin officially July 23 with the Opening Ceremonies and end August 8. Here’s what you need to know about the Games.

Poland Sends Home Six Swimmers From Tokyo Olympics After Bringing Too Many

Bloomberg Quicktake: Now 21 July, 2021 - 08:10pm

Australian equestrian Jamie Kermond out of Olympics after testing positive for cocaine

Yahoo Sports 21 July, 2021 - 12:36am

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The equestrian athlete was provisionally suspended on Wednesday after testing positive for a metabolite of cocaine, Equestrian Australia announced on Tuesday. Kermond will be barred from all competition while his second sample from a drug test administered in June is tested. If that also comes back positive, Kermond will be out of the Games.

Kermond was set to participate in the Olympics as a show jumper, both in the individual and team competitions. He wasn't a considered a medal contender, but is a veteran rider who has won multiple Australian National Championships with his horse, Yandoo Oaks Constellation.

Kermond has also represented Australia on the international stage for years and helped secure Australia's spots in Tokyo.

Equestrian Australia has provisionally suspended Jumping athlete Jamie Kermond under the Australian National Anti-Doping Policy 2021. 

The mandatory Provisional Suspension Notice asserts Mr. Kermond returned a positive A-sample for a metabolite of cocaine following a test conducted by Sport Integrity Australia on 26 June 2021. Cocaine is prohibited In-Competition by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the Australian National Anti-Doping Policy 2021. 

Mr. Kermond is prohibited from participating in any WADA compliant event, including the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, while the provisional suspension is in place. 

Under the Anti-Doping Policy, Mr. Kermond now has the opportunity to have his B-sample analysed. 

Equestrian Australia has spoken with Mr. Kermond and support services will be offered to him.

The Olympic equestrian competition is set to begin on Saturday.

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