15:06 / 19.07.2021
Secretary General of Uzbekistan Swimming Federation steps down
Фото: KUN.UZ

Secretary General of the Swimming Federation of Uzbekistan Alisher Ganiev has been temporarily stepped down. Such a statement by the National Olympic Committee appeared on the official website.

The NOC statement: 

“The National Olympic Committee in the course of its activities has always promoted the good ideas of Olympism and fair sports competition. All national federations have always been called upon to strictly adhere to anti-doping and other rules, to obey and respect the procedures for conducting international competitions.

The situation at the licensed open swimming championship of Uzbekistan, held under the patronage of the International Swimming Federation (FINA) according to the calendar plan of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, caused a great resonance. The NOC stated its position on this matter as follows:

According to the Swimming Federation of Uzbekistan, after the end of the competition on April 21, 2021, the participant of the competition, Indian athlete Likit Selvarash Prema posted a video message on YouTube that injustice was committed during the tournament, and the time of local athletes was indicated incorrectly.

It should be noted that the NOC management regularly attended the open licensed championships of Uzbekistan. The representative of the operational staff, Mirsardor Alimov, also regularly watched the competition.

At the end of the tournament, the Swimming Federation of Uzbekistan provided the NOC with the competition protocol, where it was indicated that 5 of our athletes fulfilled the Tokyo 2020 standard. The submitted protocols did not mention the violation of the established rules, including the incident indicated by the Indian athlete. Moreover, not a single foreign delegation, including the Indian team, lodged any complaints about this licensed tournament.

However, according to the Uzbekistan Swimming Federation, FINA did not recognize the results recorded at these tournaments. According to the Secretary General of the Swimming Federation of Uzbekistan Alisher Ganiyev, FINA did not send an official letter to Tashkent on this matter. And the Swimming Federation of Uzbekistan sent messages several times to clarify the information provided to FINA, it even appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on this matter. As a result, only two of our compatriots – Khurshidjon Tursunov and Natalya Kritinina received a permit to the Tokyo 2020 Games on the basis of “Universal Place” directed by the international organization.

The National Olympic Committee of Uzbekistan, as well as the Council of Sports Veterans of Uzbekistan, officially report that these circumstances do not correspond to any sporting principles and absolutely contradict the values of Olympism. In turn, the NOC asks other federations and sports organizations to strictly abide by the established rules.

Based on this, the NOC of Uzbekistan requires the followings from the Presidium of the Swimming Federation :

  • creating a working group of specialists from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the National Olympic Committee, the Council of Sports Veterans of Uzbekistan and the Swimming Federation of Uzbekistan to consider and study the above situation and give it a legal assessment;
  • requesting the International Swimming Federation (FINA) to provide materials on the reasons for the cancellation of the results recorded at the licensed competition;
  • temporarily stepping down the Secretary General of the Federation, Alisher Ganiev, from his post”.

What happened?

On April 21, 2021, an Indian athlete Likit Selvarash Prema posted a video on YouTube and stated that athletes from Uzbekistan received permits to the Olympics in a dishonest way. According to Prema, local organizers provided them with permits by artificially improving the results of Uzbek athletes. “For example, they showed that the result of Alexey Tarasenko in the freestyle 100 meters is 48.55 seconds, but his real result was 51 seconds,” Prema said and posted a video as evidence.

According to the Indian athlete, the results were mostly changed in the early stages of the competition. “But the athlete shows the best result in the final competitions,” the Indian swimmer says. Likit Selvarash Prema arranged a kind of sabotage to attract the organizers’ attention. In the 200m breaststroke swimming competition, he did not start and tried to attract attention.

However, according to the athlete, this backfired. The organizers tried to get a medical certificate stating that Prema had problems with hearing – why he did not go to the start, because he did not hear the start signal.

There is no exact information on this fact yet. Reportedly, the Swimming Federation of Uzbekistan requested information from the International Swimming Federation, and the Sports Arbitration Court in Lausanne dismissed the claim of the Uzbek side. As a result of an investigation that began after Prema’s complaint, the results of three athletes from Uzbekistan were canceled.