The governance of aquatic sports took another key step forward as the Aquatics Integrity Unit (AQIU) began operations on 1 January 2023. In early January, the AQUI Supervisory Council, chaired by Miguel Cardenal Carro (ESP), held its first meeting.
Aquatics Integrity Website Goes Live
The first month of the AQIU also saw the launch of the Aquatics Integrity Unit website. The site outlines the structure of the AQIU, the areas of work, rules and regulations, e-learning courses in anti-doping, competition manipulation and safe sport, and a suspended persons database.
Report Integrity Matters Anonymously and Confidentially
The website also includes a reporting platform for people to anonymously relay information about potential integrity violations in aquatic sports in the areas of safe sport, competition manipulation, and disciplinary and ethical violations.
With the partnership with the International Testing Agency (ITA) to oversee the World Aquatics anti-doping programme, individuals can also use ITA’s whistleblowing platform REVEAL to report actions that go against the principle of clean sport.
Let's talk about REVEAL 8️⃣— International Testing Agency (@IntTestAgency) January 20, 2023
REVEAL can help our mission to keep sport clean and protect athletes. Interesting information could be about the use or purchase of prohibited substances or about other anti-doping rule violations.
▶️ https://t.co/G6kP5fgdEd#KeepingSportReal pic.twitter.com/btv6wmAIsb
Both the AQIU and ITA platforms are highly secure, allowing anonymous and confidential reporting of information.
Background on the Aquatics Integrity Unit’s Formation
As part of sweeping governance reforms within aquatics sport, an independent Aquatics Integrity Unit (AQIU) was approved by World Aquatics member federations in Abu Dhabi (UAE) in December 2021. The AQIU’s members were later elected by the member federations at an Extraordinary Congress in Budapest (HUN) in June 2022.
With the adoption of the new World Aquatics Constitution on 1 January 2023, the AQIU became fully operational at the same time. The AQIU now oversees safe sport, competition manipulation, and disciplinary and ethical violations in the sports of swimming, water polo, diving, artistic swimming, open water swimming and high diving.
World Aquatics Signs Agreement with the Court of Arbitration for Sport, Anti-Doping Division
To ensure all potential aquatics anti-doping rule violations are addressed independently and expertly, World Aquatics has appointed the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), Anti-Doping Division as its hearing panel for anti-doping rule violations.
World Aquatics Executive Director Brent J. Nowicki and CAS Director General Matthieu Reeb memorialised the agreement with a signing ceremony.
“Having the Aquatics Integrity Unit up and running is a significant step for aquatics sport. Our agreement with the Court of Arbitration of Sport strengthens our commitment to our athletes and our sports,” Nowicki said following the signing. “This gives athletes preparing for the upcoming World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka and Doha, and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, the additional measures necessary to protect them and ensure fair competitions are fully in place.”