Siphiwe Baleka must participate to Olympics 2021

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Siphiwe Baleka must participate to Olympics 2021

Cette pétition avait 798 signataires

RepatBissau a lancé cette pétition adressée à Brent NOWICKI (Excecutive Director FINA) et à


FINA (Fédération Internationale de Natation) should review its arbitrary and discriminatory decision and authorize Siphiwe Baleka (Guinea-Bissau) to participate in the Olympic Games in Tokyo!

On July 1, 2021, Siphiwe BALEKA, pride of Guinea-Bissau by becoming the 1st professional swimmer eligible for the Olympic Games, was refused his entry ticket to so-called universality places by FINA. We ask that the Charter as well as the Olympic spirit be respected and that our national swimmer can represent our small country in Tokyo at the end of JULY 2021.

There are 2 ways to qualify for the Olympics:

"A or B" times for the best prepared nations and athletes. Qualification deadline: June 27, 2021.

The so-called "universality" places in the Olympic spirit which allow countries which do not have qualified athletes by the A/B times to send to the Olympic Games 1 man and 1 woman having the best national level. Registration deadline June 20, 2021.

Here are the facts:

Siphiwe Baleka, American of Bissau-Guinean descent, sent his application on Thursday, June 17, 2021, including his times at the Swimming International Masters of Egypt 2019 (6 gold medals) right on time for his universality place.

On June 19, FINA rejected his candidacy, informing Siphiwe that "The Masters of Egypt 2019 is not an eligible competition for qualification for the Olympic Games".

On June 23, Siphiwe Baleka therefore left Bissau quickly to participate in the last qualifying event "eligible" before the Olympics, the national championship of Egypt on June 26. By returning his application on the evening of June 26, the day before the deadline, Siphiwe received a second dismissal yesterday July 1:

"FINA notes Mr. Siphiwe Baleka’s concern with regards to his Universality time achieved on June 26, 2021 at the Egypt Swimming National Championships. In this case, FINA is strictly applying the Qualification Rules for the Universality Places which specify that only the performances of swimmers achieved on or before June 20, 2021 are valid for consideration. This official cut-off date is communicated to the National Federations/National Olympic Committees well in advance of this applicable deadline and FINA must apply the Qualification Procedure with no exception."

However, neither the Bissau-Guinean Olympic Committee nor the Bissau-Guinean Swimming Federation received any information that the universality place was conditioned by participation in an "eligible" competition before June 20. Duarte Ioia, President of the Swimming Federation, defended his athlete in a letter to FINA the same day:

"It is with great disappointment, and even with some outrage, that we have learned through the SwimSwam publication, that FINA has rejected our Universality Place application on behalf of Guinea-Bissau’s competitor, Mr. Siphiwe Baleka.
[...] no such cut-off date was communicated to us. Had we known this, we would not have sent Mr. Baleka to compete in Egypt on 26 June, in order to qualify before the deadline – 27 June – which date was communicated to us and to all swim federations worldwide.
We ask FINA, where, when and how did it make a communication referring to an EARLIER deadline for qualifying?"

Thus, with this petition, we ask that FINA authorize the participation of Siphiwe Baleka because to deny him this right would be, as Mr Iola writes, "a violation of the spirit of the Olympic Charter and flagrant discrimination against Guinea-Bissau".

Thank you all for your support and sharing as quickly as possible because of the extreme urgence of this matter.

No sta Djunto - We are together

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Cette pétition avait 798 signataires