By Jerome Lagunzad
The International Swimming Federation (FINA) is coming out with a decision soon on which group it will recognize as the official swimming body in the Philippines, one of the country’s stakeholders said yesterday.
Lani Velasco is vying for the presidency of the Philippine Swimming Inc. (PSI) alongside two-time Olympian Ral Rosario, who has also claimed the leadership of the group.
Velasco told the Bulletin that the Lausanne-based FINA will issue a statement “in a couple of days” to clear the issue over leadership.
Two days ago, Rosario and another stakeholder, Susan Papa of the Philippine Swimming League, presided over a press conference formally announcing their decision to join hands and unite.
But based on an April 2017 letter sent by FINA, the federation doesn’t acknowledge Rosario’s March 2017 elections.
The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), under new president Ricky Vargas, has submitted to the FINA documents concerning to the leadership feud that has marred the association for the last few years.
Velasco was propelled into the PSI’s presidency when Mark Joseph first assigned her as a caretaker. Joseph hasn’t been seen in POC functions for three years, leaving Velasco as the one running the group.
As this developed, the POC yesterday clarified that it is not grooming Rosario as its fair-haired boy to take over the PSI but admitted that the two parties have been engaging in talks in the hopes of resolving the issue.
The POC has tasked former IOC representative to the Philippines Frank Elizalde to handle the affairs while the matter is still being discussed.
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