Suspended PH swimming body's appeal dismissed by Court of Arbitration for Sport


Posted at Mar 29 2023 03:57 PM

The leadership of Philippine Swimming Inc. during its National Congress in April. Handout photo.
The leadership of Philippine Swimming Inc. during its National Congress in April. Handout photo.

MANILA -- The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed with finality another appeal by the Philippine Swimming Inc. (PSI) for a stay of execution of a decision by the World Aquatics to withdraw its recognition of the organization.

In an order dated March 28, 2023, Dr. Elisabeth Steiner, the deputy president of the CAS Appeals Arbitration Division, said: "The urgent request for a stay of execution of the decision rendered by the FINA [World Aquatics] Bureau on 21 February 2023 filed by the Philippine Swimming Inc. on 24 March 2023 in the matter CAS 2023/A/9489 Philippine Swimming Inc. v. World Aquatics is dismissed."

"The costs of the present Order shall be determined in the final award or in any other final disposition of this arbitration."

World Aquatics withdrew its recognition of the PSI on December 4, 2022, over various complaints received from stakeholders of Philippine swimming. 

"The FINA Bureau discussed various complaints received by the FINA Office concerning matters of inter alia poor governance principles within your National Federation," the FINA memo said. "For this reason, and as a matter of last resort, the FINA Bureau has confirmed the implementation of a Stabilization Committee, as set out in C 10.6 of the FINA Constitution."

The CAS has already denied an initial request by the PSI for a stay of execution of the international federation's decision, in a memorandum dated February 2 and also signed by Steiner.

The CAS's first dismissal order was stated in a 16-page letter that was a response to the PSI appeal sent to the Lausanne-based sports court last December 20, 2022.

In that first dismissal, the CAS affirmed the World Aquatics’ order of the creation of a Stabilization Committee to handle the national sports association’s affairs.

In a separate order, the World Aquatics instructed the Stabilization Committee to conduct tryouts for the national team to the Cambodia Southeast Asian Games — an exercise conducted late last month at the New Clark City Aquatics Center.

The World Aquatics then suspended the PSI and ordered the conduct of elections for the national federation’s board of directors through the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) in another letter dated February 22, 2023.

The international federation then approved an Electoral Committee formed by the POC composed of POC secretary-general Atty. Edwin Gastanes with legal chief Atty. Wharton Chan, Atty. Avelino Sumagui and Atty. Marcus Antonius Andaya as members.

The Poblador, Bautista and Reyes (PBR Law) firm represented the PSI in the appeal to the CAS.

Below is the text of the CAS decision: