By Nick Butler

FINA has warned the organisers of the events in Dubai and DohaOctober 23 - Official warnings have been issued by the International Swimming Federation (FINA) to organisers of last weekend's World Cup meetings in Dubai and Doha after Israeli athletes were negatively treated at both events.

Israel's name and flag appeared to be censored in pre-race introductions and television broadcasts while swimmers from the country were ignored in coverage.

In particular, after winning medals in both events, medley swimmer Amit Ivry found her name not shown on the official results, in addition to her national flag being blanked out from the television graphic.

The incidents contravened FINA rules prohibiting discrimination, which includes the grounds of religion or politics.

FINA announced that warnings had been given to both organisers along with reminders that the rules must be equally applied by all National Federations.

Reassurances were also given that "all steps will be taken in the future for such acts not to occur again".

This is particularly significant because Doha is due to host the FINA World Short-Course Championships next year and plans to bid again for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics. 

A graphic from a Qatar television broadcasts shows the Israeli flag being obscuredA graphic from a Qatar television broadcast shows the Israeli flag being obscured in the aftermath of Ivry winning a silver medal.

In their statement FINA clarified that before the two events, they had  taken "all the necessary steps, in cooperation with our member National Federations in UAE and Qatar to ensure the delivery of visas and participation of the Israel delegation".

They also remarked that, upon hearing of the mistreatment, that had immediately acted upon their rules. 

"In Dubai, the incidents of the first day were not repeated in the following sessions, while in Doha FINA was only informed on these occurrences 15 minutes prior to the end of the second day finals' session," said the statement.

"Once more, FINA promptly reacted and the medal ceremony involving one athlete from Israel at the end of the session respected all the FINA rules."

However, in addition to the treatment of Ivry, another member of the Israeli squad in Gal Nevo posted on Facebook about his experiences.

"The name Israel was not mentioned, throughout the competition we were presented as Isra swimmers, and the editors of the television broadcast were instructed to do everything in their power to remove us and our flag from the frame," he wrote.

Gal Nevo in action at the 2013 FINA World Championships in BarcelonaGal Nevo in action at the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona was another Israeli swimmer claiming of mistreatment at the World Cup meets

FINA executive director Cornel Marculescu claimed that the two organisers apologised for the "stupid" incidents in the past week, and that the matter had been resolved during the events.

He claimed it was good to have got such experiences out of the way before next year's World Championships.

"I think it was a good experience and no more is it going to happen," he told Associated Press.

Marculescu also explained how the medal ceremonies involving Ivry were conducted properly and that, unlike at similar World Cup events in 2010, Israeli athletes had no problems applying for visas ahead of the competition.

"This time there was no problem," he said.

"Only these stupid things." 

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