Six Olympic swimmers from Poland have been sent home from the Olympic Games in Tokyo because of an administrative error.
The Polish Swimming Federation was forced to cut its team of 23 members to 17 after mistakenly sending too many athletes to Japan following a misunderstanding of the FINA qualifying standards, according to multiple reports.
“I express great regret, sadness and bitterness about the situation related to the qualification of ours players for the Olympic Games in Tokyo,” said Polish Swimming Federation President Pawel Slominski. “Such a situation should not take place, and the reaction of the players, their emotions, the attack on the Polish Swimming Federation (PZP) is understandable to me and justified.”
The six Polish swimmers are Alicja Tchórz, Bartosz Piszczorowicz, Aleksandra Polańska, Mateusz Chowaniec, Dominika Kossakowska and Jan Holub. They have returned to Poland and are planning on taking legal action in response to their country’s blunder, according to an NBC report.
“Imagine dedicating five years of your life and striving for another start at the most important sporting event, giving up your private life and work, sacrificing your family,” Tchórz wrote on Facebook.
According to the NBC report, the Polish swim team signed an open letter that has called for the Polish Swimming Federation board to resign.
“Several of us had to come back to Poland because of the neglect, and our dream of becoming Olympians have been taken away from us,” they wrote in the letter.
Chowaniec wrote on Instagram: “I’m deeply shocked by what happened. This is an absurd situation for me that should never have happened. In fact, I hope to wake up from this nightmare eventually.”