Portugal's António José Silva has released his manifesto for President of the LEN ©Antonio Silva

Portugal's António José Silva has stepped up his bid to become President of the European Swimming League (LEN) by releasing his manifesto for the top job.

Silva said he was running for the position on behalf of the "Europe 4 All Aquatics" group, which has been highly critical of the LEN administration in recent months.

The Portuguese official's manifesto is based on four pillars, including a section on integrity, transparency and good governance.

Silva, who claims to have the backing of the Portuguese Olympic Committee in his attempt to become President of the European body, has also vowed to make aquatics "more accessible for all" and make the embattled LEN "fit for the future" through sustainability initiatives. 

He has promised to implement new practices to provide Member Federations with "transparency of all our financial and business activities (e.g. through professional, external and independent financial audits, minutes of Board meetings and Bureau decisions accessible through official reports, introduction of a Bureau member contact for each Member Federation)".

Criticism of the LEN from bodies including Europe 4 All Aquatics centres around financial problems within the organisation, with a lack of transparency and confidence in leading officials, such as incumbent President Paolo Barelli, also cited.

Silva has also set a series of targets he hopes to achieve three months after the election, set to take place on February 5.

António José Silva has set a series of targets he hopes to achieve by May if he is elected LEN President ©Antonio Silva
António José Silva has set a series of targets he hopes to achieve by May if he is elected LEN President ©Antonio Silva

"I am happy that this manifesto is the fruit of many open discussions with Member Federation colleagues and represents the views of, and feedback from, the European aquatics community," Silva said.

"This manifesto states our desire for change and a commitment to democracy, integrity, transparency and development. 

"But as well as our belief in 'Unity in Vision' you will also see that for each of the manifesto pillars objectives, there are also clear and practical action plans for the first 100 days.

"Should we be honoured to achieve your support, we will work quickly, and decisively with fixed priorities and timelines. 

"We look forward to working with you to design and achieve a bright future for our beloved sport of aquatics."

LEN has been embroiled in controversy after police in Switzerland seized documents during a raid on the LEN offices in Nyon in March as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged financial irregularities and improper conduct against officials from the organisation.

Barelli and Sparkes held their current roles with the European body at the time of the alleged events.

Tamás Gyárfás, who is also a former head of the Hungarian Swimming Federation, was LEN treasurer at the time.

Barelli, Sparkes and Gyárfá were reported to European authorities in 2020 over allegedly authorising six-figure payments to third-party companies over a period of five years.

They deny wrongdoing.