Tamas Gyarfas, head of the Hungarian Swimming Federation since 1993, has resigned following harsh criticism by the country’s top swimmers who demanded his ouster.
Gyarfas called it an honour to have held the job but resigned on Wednesday “because I feel that this is the best way I can help the sport”, reports Xinhua.
Three-time Olympic champion and multiple world record holder Katinka Hosszu fired the first shot leading to Gyarfas’ resignation by raising multiple problems with the Federation and demanding his ouster.
Although Gyarfas initially refused, Hosszu was joined by Olympic medalists Daniel Gyurta and Boglarka Kapas who were followed by other top swimmers.
On November 21, swimmers Hosszu, Daniel Gyurta, Kapas, world and European champion Peter Bernek, European bronze medalist Dominik Kozma, European gold medalists David and Evelyn Verraszto, and European medalist Gabor Financsek, and coaches Csaba Czako and Shane Tusup issued a joint statement demanding the ouster of Gyarfas and the entire leadership of the federation.
They called for transparency and more democratic decision-making, and called on the federation to follow through on multiple broken promises made to swimmers to facilitate their training.
On behalf of the government, the state secretariat in charge of sports said that while it would not intervene in the internal affairs of the Swimming Federation it called for a quick resolution to the dispute, all the more so as Hungary is hosting the 2017 World Aquatics Championships and needs the federation to be on its toes. Hungary is also bidding to host the 2024 Olympics and there are fears that the difficulties could act against the bid.
Hosszu responded to the news on her Facebook page, writing “Even the darkest night eventually comes to an end and the sun will rise!”
On his page Gyurta wrote: “Deep breath. Tabula rasa.”
Gyarfas remains a member of the executive committee of FINA, international swimming’s governing body.(IANS)