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International Swimmers’ Alliance Ask For Olympic Prize Money

T
he newly formed International Swimmers’ Alliance (ISA) will reportedly ask new FINA (international swimming federation) president Husain Al Musallam to work with them in improving economic and social standing of swimmers.

There have been reports only 12.5% of FINA’s gross revenue was allocated for prize money for events in 2016 and 2017, with the ABC’s, The Ticket stating it amounted to “around $20 million from FINA’s total revenue of $152 million.”

Tuesday marked the launch of the ISA, an independent organisation established to improve swimmer’s rights and provide them with a united voice.

ISA spokesperson and American Olympic gold medallist, Matt Biondi, told The Ticket the ISA are looking to form a cohesive relationship with the sport’s governing bodies to work through common issues.

“Our hope is to develop a cohesive relationship, a cooperative relationship,” Biondi said.

“If you look at NHL, the European soccer leagues, the NBA, there are these player relationships… they tend to work cooperatively on issues, and they share revenue somewhat equally.

“We think that our Olympic sports, and in particular swimming, are on par with the level of those professional sports, so we’d like to see a seat at the table.

“I think there are some economic issues we can help to address, as well as social issues, for example, with healthcare and retirement benefits.

“I think there are some common issues that we have [and] I think we both want the sport to work well at all levels,” he said.

Swimming’s international governing body, FINA, recently elected new president Husain Al Musallam, who promised to address more rights for swimmers and more money, during his leadership.

“I want FINA to be able to send more money to the national federations to be spent on development and I want to commit to spending more on the athletes’ program and prize money,” Al Musallam said in his first address.

“I will lead by example, and today I make this promise: I will take no payment, either through salary or other compensation for any of my work with FINA,” he said.

Despite not taking payment from FINA, according to The Ticket, Al Musallam is still “eligible to be paid per diems as a member of the Olympic Solidarity Commission and… as secretary general of both Olympic Council of Asia and the Kuwait Olympic Committee.”