With the presence of delegates from 167 National Federations, the FINA General Congress was held today in Gwangju (KOR), where the 18th FINA World Championships is being staged until July 28. The two main points of the Agenda included the approval of the FINA Financial Statements 2017-2018 and the validation of changes in the Constitution, General, Facilities and Anti-Doping Rules.

Following the recommendations from the FINA Audit Committee and from the independent auditors PriceWaterhouseCoopers SA, the delegates unanimously approved the FINA Financial Statements 2017-2018 as presented to the Congress. 

Concerning the changes of rules, all new proposals were approved by a huge majority of the National Federations’ representatives.

Among the most significant changes, we can include:

  • Change in the composition of the Executive, which will now include nine persons, namely the Immediate Past President;
  • National Federations and Continental must hold general assemblies every two years and elective congresses every four years. Reports of these Assemblies must be presented to FINA;
  • The Bureau has the right to suspend a member if it is unable to preserve its independence for reasons beyond its control (example: governmental interference);
  • Seven members of the FINA Athletes Committee will have the right to vote in the FINA Congress;
  • Creation of a FINA Electoral Commission, formed by independent members, which will oversee the electoral process and have the final decision for the office of FINA President, FINA Vice-Presidents and FINA Bureau Members. In parallel, the Congress was informed of the Bureau’s approval of “Regulations for Elections”, which will be included in the FINA By-laws;
  • Members of FINA organising or sanctioning the organisation of a competition shall strictly enforce or procure the enforcement of FINA rules, including but not limited to the rules governing eligibility at or in connection with the competition; 
  • On FINA Doping Control Rules, the delegates approved minor adjustments following the recent partnership between FINA and ITA (International Testing Agency). As part of this agreement, the out-of competition testing programme will be performed by ITA, while FINA remains responsible for the in-competition controls;
  • On Facilities Rules, the delegates approved the improvement of technical aspects in aquatic venues.

Finally, the Congress also approved, following the recent loss of Vice-President Dennis Miller, the nomination of Matthew Dunn as Vice-President for Oceania, and Romani Katoa (COK) as new Bureau member for this Continent.

In his welcome speech to the delegates, the FINA President Dr Julio C. Maglione considered: “FINA is presently a brand of success worldwide, with its Aquatic disciplines being considered a pillar of the Olympic Games’ programme and its World Championships being one of the most popular sport events in the planet. In Tokyo 2020, for the first time in our history, FINA will be the International Federation with the highest number of medals – 49 – in the Olympic programme. This definitively proves the reach of our disciplines, which obtain the best rates of TV audience and digital exposure during the Olympic celebration.”  

“Moreover, on Sunday, FINA will decide on the host cities for the FINA World Championships 2025 and 2027. Establishing a long-term calendar is important to guarantee that FINA’s is in a stable situation and generates the necessary funds in a time of challenges and very competitive international sports environment”, continued Dr Maglione. 

This July 19 is also the day FINA celebrates its 111th anniversary, and the FINA President recalled this special date to the delegates: “The FINA excellence was also demonstrated in 2018, precisely one year ago, when FINA proudly celebrated its 110th anniversary and officially inaugurated its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. It was a memorable FINA Family gathering, where all those involved with our International Federation could see and visit the ‘House of Aquatics’. Your house. Today, we therefore commemorate 111 years since our foundation in 1908. Happy Birthday FINA!”