FINA Airs Critique of Rio Water Polo Preparations – Associated Press

Julio Delamare Aquatic Center rio olympics 2016

Organizers of the Rio Olympics have been roundly criticized for sub-standard planning of aquatics events, including water polo, for next year’s games. In a sharply worded letter from FINA to Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes the aquatics body accused Olympic organizers of “disrespect for the FINA requirements concerning aquatic venues,” and that the athletes’ safety was at risk.

FINA, which oversees some of the Olympics’ most-watched events, attacked the organizers and Rio mayor Eduardo Paes on various grounds including slashing the seating capacity at the main pool, according to a FINA letter obtained by The Associated Press.

Athletes’ health and safety could be at risk over viruses in the area of sea used for open water swimming events and organizers’ decision to use an open-air venue for diving, water polo and synchronized swimming, FINA warns.

The letter, dated Monday and addressed by FINA president Julio Maglione to Paes and the 2016 organizing committee, was circulated among leading swimming figures.

It seems to suggest relations are at breaking point…

The FINA letter also says athletes’ safety is at risk from a decision not to put a roof over the open-air Maria Lenk Aquatic Park, which will hold the diving, water polo and synchronized swimming events. All took place indoors at London 2012…

In a statement, Rio organizers said they have been in contact with FINA over the issues. They said shifting water polo and the seating reduction in the main swimming venue was to save money in order for the Games to be “economically sustainable.”

Source: Swimming body criticizes Rio Olympic organizers