Julio César Maglione, President of the International Aquatics Federation (FINA), has spoken in support of the proposed rule change that would see the maximum age limit scrapped for elected members of the world governing body.
FINA looks poised to make the constitutional revision in July, after the proposed amendment to the rule, which also covers the President, was submitted by the federation’s Bureau.
At present this rule states that the maximum age of elected Bureau members “must be no more than 80 years in the year of the election to the FINA Bureau”.
Deletion of this stipulation appears convenient for Maglione, whose current term, his second, runs until 2017 when he will be 81.
Asked why the Bureau wanted this restriction to be removed, Maglione replied: “Because one thing is age; another is the biological situation of each person.
“Most federations don’t have an age limit.”
With a characteristically enigmatic twinkle he then added: “Maybe we don’t put a limit of age for me.
“I don’t know.
“We need to see if the federation approves or not.
“FINA is absolutely open and each federation has one vote.
“We discuss absolutely all in assembly.”
Questioned on broader rumours of dissent in the swimming family, he replied: “For me the important thing is what the national federations want.
“Others are free to say what they want.”
And did the national bodies support him?
“I think so, but I don’t know.”
Maglione, who has been an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member since 1996, also came close to a commitment to begin publishing the body’s annual financial report, saying: “We don’t have a problem to publish…We can publish.
“I don’t think we have any secret.
“Why not publish?”
This would be in line with the push for greater transparency in the Olympic Movement administered by IOC President Thomas Bach’s Olympic Agenda 2020 programme.
FINA recently took a first step to greater transparency by disclosing that its top brass were volunteers who did not receive a salary.
They did, however, recently benefit from a 33 per cent increase from $300 (£134/€269) to $400 (£259/€358) in their per diem payments while on FINA business.
“We were the first to talk about the money that everyone receives,” Maglione claimed.
“I don’t know how many Presidents are with me; I don’t have a salary and receive the same per diem as the others.”
The FINA Extraordinary Congress will take place in Kazan, Russia on July 23.
April 2015: FINA reveals 33 per cent hike in per diem payments for top brass
April 2015: David Owen: IOC members look to be in line for an increase in expenses - along with more transparency
March 2015: FINA paves way to abolish age limits and create role of first vice-president