“Nothing in life is certain, least of all the concept of SUCCESS!

What I know for certain is that if people do not TRY TO CHANGE OLYMPIC SPORT, Olympic Sport will never change.

The World Swimming Association is an effort by all of us who care, to have athlete centered sport, without doping, without corruption, without management scandals, and WITH integrity, professional management And real DEVELOPMENT in the 190 federations around the world (of the 210 that exist) that lack pools, coaches, officials, and sufficient training and competition for swimmers.

Athlete centered sport means in part that the hundreds of millions of dollars generated by swimming over the decades, winds up at least 50% in the pockets of those to EARN IT. THE ATHLETES. Not in an organizational bank account.

Are we certain of success? Of course not. This is competitive sport. If you only play if you know you will win, that’s not sport, is it?

FINA has huge bank accounts earned on the backs of swimmers to whom they dedicate Pennies. World Swimming Association has the best interests of the Athletes as our central value.

I live in a country where the longest of long shots (rebellion against an impervious enemy in 1776) became reality because ethically, it was the right move. People saw that and joined. Often Against their own best immediate interests, but in the hopes of a truly better life experience for their children. Independence from Britain was the longest of long shots.

I think FINA is in trouble because deep in their DNA, they are for their own organization, not for athletes. The World Swimming Association is for what we all DREAMED ABOUT when we decided to get involved in sport. Just my opinion, of course.

On the issue of Code of Conduct, I cannot comment on the specific recent incidents since I have no first hand knowledge, but certainly respect for self, competitors, other coaches and officials should be a GIVEN in any sporting endeavor. It should not need formal processes, but if it does, the WSA/PSA certainly will put them in place. Respect is a fundamental value.”

An Interview with John Leonard on Olympic Sport and the World Swimming Association