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Breaking: Hungary’s Swimming Chief Resigns Amid Widespread Criticism

The head of the Hungarian Swimming Federation (MÚSZ) has tendered his resignation on Wednesday morning. Tamás Gyárfás has announced his decision in a statement sent to  news agency MTI. The 67-year-old former journalist is also an influential vice president of the sport’s global governing body FINA, who will organise the World Aquatics Championships in Hungary next year. It was not immediately clear who would succeed Gyárfás or how his resignation would affect his position with FINA.

Thank you. I became chairman of the Swimming Association in 1993. It was a honor to cooperate with great coaches, managers and athletes. It was great to be a part of the five European Championships Hungary hosted and I am happy to have been there when we won the right to host the FINA World Championships. The biggest joy is to see that our new swimming complex is already under-construction. I wish the most successful sport to find the most suitable president in a short time. (Tamás Gyárfás)

Earlier this month, Gyárfás found himself under fire from the country’s leading competitors, including Dániel Gyurta and Katinka Hosszú. The Iron Lady, who won three gold medals and a silver in Rio and holds multiple world records, accused Gyárfás of running Hungarian swimming in an authoritarian and opaque manner. Hosszú and her team mates demanded a complete overhaul of the country’s Swimming Association in a bitter dispute that has threatened to damage Budapest’s bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. They also accused Gyárfás of not following through on promises made to athletes including payment of training subsidies and victory bonuses, as well as pledges to upgrade facilities. Furthermore, Gyárfás has been harshly critized in the Hungarian media over the scandalous mascot figures of the next year’s World Aquatics Championships. (A horrific dog, the first candidate, was replaced later by a dwarf called “Water Willy”.)

Since Gyárfás statement’s has been just published, only very few and short comments have been made so far on his resignation. However, Katinka Hosszú and Dániel Gyurta have posted the followings in social media:

“A legsötétebb éjszaka is idővel véget ér és kisüt a nap!”

“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise!”

Posted by Katinka Hosszu on Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Nagy levegő. Tiszta lap. //
Deep breath. Tabula rasa.

#danielgyurta #swimming #mylife

Posted by Daniel Gyurta Official on Wednesday, 30 November 2016

 

via MTI, Reuters, AFP