Administrative blunders has forced Poland to send six swimmers home after they accidentally selected too many for the Tokyo Olympics.
The country’s swimming federation had sent 23 swimmers to Japan but the PZP was forced to cut the squad down to 17 based on world governing body FINA’s qualifying rules.
The group of relay-only swimmers are now threatening legal action and have signed an open letter calling for the Polish Swimming Federation (PZP) board to resign following the embarrassing administrative error.
PZP President Pawel Slominski apologised and said he fully understood the anger of the swimmers who returned home over the weekend.
‘I express great regret, sadness and bitterness about the situation related to the qualification of our swimmers for the Olympic Games in Tokyo,’ Slominski said in a statement.
‘Such a situation should not take place, and the reaction of the swimmers, their emotions, the attack on the Polish Swimming Federation is understandable to me and justified.’
He said the error was due to the ‘desire to allow as many players and coaches as possible to take part in the Games’.
Media reports identified the six swimmers as Alicja Tchorz, Bartosz Piszczorowicz, Aleksandra Polanska, Mateusz Chowaniec, Dominika Kossakowska and Jan Holub.
‘Imagine dedicating five years of your life and striving for another start at the most important sporting event giving up your private life and work, sacrificing your family … your dedication results in a total flop,’ she said on Facebook.
She also shared an official statement on ‘the drama played out in Japan’.
Chowaniec added on Instagram: ‘I’m deeply shocked by what happened… this is an absurd situation for me that should never have happened. In fact, I hope to wake up from this nightmare eventually.
‘In a word, I am terribly embittered and I am sorry that due to incompetent people from PZP.’
Swimming news website SwimSwam reported several Polish swimmers had signed an open letter to the PZP seeking the resignation of the organisation’s entire board.
Overall, Poland has won six Olympic medals in swimming one gold, three silver and two bronze.