FINA Code of Ethics

FINA Code of Ethics

I. Preamble

It is the aim of the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) and the entire Aquatic family to promote the highest possible values within the sport of Aquatics.

In furtherance of this aim, the FINA Bureau on 22 February 2013 has approved the following FINA Code of Ethics.

II. Scope of applicability

This Code shall apply to all FINA members, FINA staff, persons elected or appointed to any position within the organization of FINA or the Continental Organizations (collectively referred to herein as “Officials”), and other individuals engaged in FINA activities. It shall also apply to consultants and contractually-connected persons/firms representing or serving FINA.

III. Definitions

Words used in this Code of Ethics shall have the same meaning as set out in the FINA Constitution and the FINA Rules, unless specified otherwise.

IV. Ethical Principles in Aquatics


1. No discrimination on the basis of gender, race, religion, or political opinion shall be tolerated.


2. All forms of harassment, be they physical, psychological, professional or sexual, are strictly prohibited.


3. Fair play is the basic guiding principle in the sport of Aquatics.

4. Betting on Aquatics and other corrupt practices relating to the sport of Aquatics by any person being subject to this Code, including improperly influencing the outcomes and results of an event or competition are prohibited. Any person being subject to this Code is forbidden from having stakes, either actively or passively, in any entity or, organization that promotes, brokers, arranges or conducts such activities or transactions.

5. Any person being subject to this Code shall exercise due care and diligence in fulfilling their roles for, or on behalf of FINA and not disclose information received if such disclosure is made maliciously in order to damage the interests of FINA.

6. No FINA staff or Bureau member shall make adverse comments on a policy adopted by the FINA Bureau once the FINA Bureau decision has been taken.


7. No Official shall, directly or indirectly, solicit, accept or offer any concealed remuneration, commission, benefit or service of any nature connected with their participation in Aquatics or with their function as an Official.

8. No Official shall solicit or accept benefits, entertainment or gifts in exchange for, or as a condition of, the exercise of their duties, or as an inducement for performing an act associated with their duties or responsibilities except that gifts, hospitality or other benefits associated with their official duties and responsibilities may be accepted if such gifts, hospitality or other benefits:

a) are within the bounds of propriety, a normal expression of courtesy, or within the normal standards of hospitality;

b) would not bring suspicion on the Official’s objectivity and impartiality; and

c) would not compromise the integrity of FINA.

9. No Official may be involved with any company, association, firm or person whose activity is inconsistent with the objectives or interests of FINA. If it is unclear, whether this kind of a connection exists in any given situation, the matter shall be submitted to the Ethics Panel for a decision.


10. Officials shall remain politically neutral, in accordance with the principles and objectives of FINA, the confederations, associations, leagues and clubs, and generally act in a manner compatible with their function and integrity.


11. In discharging their duties to FINA, all Officials shall act for the benefit of FINA when making decisions that affect, or may affect, FINA and to do so without reference to their own personal interests, either financial or otherwise.

12. When performing an activity for FINA or before being elected or appointed, the candidate or Official shall disclose to the Ethics Panel any personal interests that could be linked with their prospective FINA activities. The Ethics Panel may draw the attention of the candidate or Official to potential conflicts of interest that it identifies.

13. Officials shall avoid any situation that could lead to conflicts of interest. Potential conflicts of interest arise:

a) if Officials have, or appear to have, private or personal interests that detract from their ability to perform their duties with integrity in an independent and purposeful manner. Private or personal interests include gaining any possible advantage for the persons bound by this Code themselves, their family, relatives, friends and acquaintances;

b) if the opinion or decision of an Official, acting alone or within an organisation, is influenced by, or may be reasonably considered as liable to be influenced by relations that such Official has, has had or is on the point of having, with another person or organisation that would be affected by the person’s opinion or decision;

c) if an Official is also involved in the executive day to day running of Continental/National federations of Aquatic sports.

In the following non-exhaustive list of examples, the circumstances in which a conflict of interests could arise are personal and/or material involvement (salary, shareholding, various benefits) with:

a) suppliers of the party concerned;

b) sponsors, broadcasters, various contracting parties;

c) organisations liable to benefit from the assistance of the party concerned (including subsidy, approval clause or election).

14. Officials shall not perform their duties in matters with an existing or potential conflict of interest. Should a conflict of interest, or the appearance of a conflict of interest, arise, or if there is a danger of such conflict arising, the individual concerned must refrain from taking any further part in the handling of the matter. If it is unclear whether such a conflict of interest exists in any given situation, the matter may be submitted to the Ethics Panel.

15. If an objection is made concerning an existing or potential conflict of interest of an Official, it shall be reported immediately to the Ethics Panel for appropriate measures.

16. If an Official neglects to declare a situation of a potential conflict of interest, the FINA President or one of the FINA Executive members may refer the matter to the Ethics Panel.


17. Any contribution made by sponsors, partners and other supporters of sports events must be consistent with the principles set out in this Code of Ethics. By virtue of their position, they must not be allowed to interfere with the running of the sport of Aquatics.


18. Officials shall not disclose improperly information entrusted to them in confidence by FINA. The obligation to respect confidentiality survives the termination of any relationship which makes a person subject to this Code.

V. Implementation and duty of reporting and co-operation

1. Persons bound by this Code shall immediately report any potential violation of this Code to the Ethics Panel.

2. At the request of the Ethics Panel, persons bound by this Code are obliged to contribute to clarifying the facts of the matter or clarifying possible violations.

3. The FINA Ethics Panel may make recommendations to the FINA Bureau for the modification, amendment or deletion of provisions in this Code of Ethics.

VI. FINA Ethics Panel

1. The FINA Ethics Panel shall be composed of six members appointed by the newly elected FINA Bureau at its first meeting for a term of 4 years.  The FINA President shall appoint the chairperson of the FINA Ethics Panel from amongst its members.

2. A person may not serve on the Ethics Panel if he or she:

a) is a member of the FINA Bureau, a FINA Technical Committee, a FINA Specialized Committee or other FINA Judicial Panel,

b) cannot speak English or French,

c) has no knowledge of Aquatics as well as FINA,

d) is a member of the Bureau of the Regional Organisations.

3. Members of the FINA Ethics Panel may be appointed for such number of successive terms as considered appropriate by the FINA Bureau.

4. If a member of the FINA Ethics Panel should die or resign, a replacement shall be decided by the FINA Bureau in compliance with article VI.2 of this Code and until the next elections of the FINA Ethics Panel.

5. The matters are transferred to the Ethics Panel by the FINA President. In the event a matter concerns the FINA President, this matter shall be transferred to the Ethics Panel by one of the members of the FINA Executive.

6. At least three members of the FINA Ethics Panel (as determined by the Chairperson), shall be appointed as required on a case by case basis, to decide on the matter(s).

7. The FINA Ethics Panel shall have the power to hear and decide any violation of this Code of Ethics, including the power to impose sanction(s) as set out in this Code of Ethics, unless stated otherwise in this Code of Ethics.

8. The FINA Ethics Panel shall act in accordance with the principles of natural justice and shall determine its own procedure.

9. For any violations of this Code of Ethics, the FINA Ethics Panel may impose any one or more of the following sanctions:

a) a warning or reprimand;

b) a suspension for a fixed period of up to 4 years from holding office or other position held by an Official and/or until a specified set of conditions have been met to the FINA Ethics Panel’s satisfaction;

c) a return of any FINA award;

d) a ban for a fixed period of up to a lifetime from taking part in any Aquatics related activity;

e) a recommendation to the FINA Executive of the notification of the matter to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

10. FINA may take no action with respect to violations of this Code unless such action is taken within 10 years of the event to which it relates.  Sexual misconduct, bribery and corruption are not subject to such a limitation period. The limitation period, when applicable, shall be prolonged if proceedings are opened and/or suspended.

11. Sanctions shall be in force immediately upon the decision being made unless the deciding body rules otherwise.

12. Decisions taken by the Ethics Panel are subject to appeals lodged with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in accordance with the relevant provision of the FINA Constitution/ FINA Rules. The decisions of the CAS are final.

VII. Effective date

This Code comes into force on 22 February 2013.