Paolo Barelli was given a ban for a term of two years by FINA’s independent Ethics Panel today. This comes after the panel had previously issued an interim suspension on Barelli.
The FINA Ethics Panel looked into various referrals of suspected wrongdoing from separate cases against Mr. Barelli, who was the President of the Italian Swimming Federation (FIN), a former FINA Bureau Member, and the former President of the Ligue Européenne de Natation (LEN).
The FINA Ethics Panel is looking into a number of charges of impropriety leveled against Mr. Barelli. These allegations include various rule violations of the FINA Constitution and the FINA Code of Ethics, which are said to have resulted from the following situations:
- the signature of an addition to a contract by LEN without the participation of FIN, which would be to FIN’s financial advantage to the tune of between 500,000 and 1,500,000 euros
- the request for reimbursement of expenses totaling € 495 587.22 from the Italian Olympic Committee, on behalf of FIN, despite the fact that these expenses had previously been paid for by the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance. The appeals chamber of the Italian Court of Auditors arrived at the conclusion that this had resulted in monetary losses.
After holding hearings and giving the allegations a great deal of thought, the FINA Ethics Panel came to the conclusion that Mr. Barelli should be banned from participating in any aquatic-related activities that are organized by FINA or its members. Beginning on September 14, 2022, the date on which Mr. Barelli was initially given a provisional suspension, he will now be subject to a ban that will last for the duration of two years.
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