Six Polish swimmers were forced to return from Japan before the commencement of the Olympics due to an administrative blunder by the Polish Swimming Federation (PZP). On Sunday, the swimmers returned to Poland, threatening legal action, and called for the PZP’s head to resign in the wake of the incident.
There were 23 people on the swimming team that was sent to Japan. “I would like to express my great regret, sadness, and bitterness at the situation,” PZP director Pawel Slominski said in a statement.
Slominski agreed to make a mistake, but claimed it was motivated by a desire to help others “allow as many athletes and coaches as possible to take part”. Alicja Tchorz, one of the six, posted a Facebook post criticising the PZP’s “incompetence,” saying they had “misunderstood the rules.”
“Imagine that you sacrifice five years of your life and… your sacrifice results in a total flop,” Tchorz, who competed in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, stated.
Mateusz Chowaniec, another of the six, wrote on Instagram: “This is an absurd situation that should never have happened.” The PZP president was urged by Poland’s culture and sports ministry to “quickly submit explanations” on the event.