Ana Guevara, head of Mexico’s National Commission for Physical Culture and Sports. Photo: Google

By MARK LORENZANA

Ana Gabriela Guevara, head of Mexico’s National Commission for Physical Culture and Sports (Conade), has filed a lawsuit against five-time world racquetball champion Paola Longoria.

Conade filed the civil lawsuit against Longoria on Monday, Aug. 29, with Guevara publicly declaring that Longoria had to repay unliquidated expenses that the athlete had incurred from 2015 to 2018, to the tune of 1.6 million pesos, plus interest.

For her part, Longoria has maintained that she did deliver receipts and vouchers to Conade for her expenses for the aforementioned period, but that the government sports agency could not produce them due to the constant change of officials.

On Friday, Sept. 2, Alejandro Dzib Sotelo, Fifth District Judge in Civil Matters, refused to admit the Conade lawsuit for processing.

According to Guevara, the Mexican Racquetball Federation likewise owes 432,000 pesos to the Mexican Treasury for unliquidated expenses in recent sporting events.

Longoria, who has won 115 titles in her career so far, is currently ranked number one by the International Racquetball Federation in the Women’s Singles category, and is ranked first in the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour Singles Rankings for Women.

On Friday, Aug. 12, of this year, the Mexican Racquetball Federation (FMR) denounced Conade “for refusing to provide support to the Mexican National Racquetball Team” ahead of the World Racquetball Championship that took place from Aug. 18 to 28 in the central Mexican state of San San Luis Potosí.

Longoria, in an interview with ABC Deportes, said that her sports scholarship had been reduced by as much as 70 percent.

“Nowadays, I don’t even receive my scholarship of 6,000 pesos, after almost 70 percent of that was cut,” Longoria said. “It’s a shame that Mexican sports in general is in this situation now, especially racquetball, a sport that has given much honor and satisfaction to the country. We are the sport that produced all the medals in the Pan American Games. Yes, we are not an Olympic sport, but we do produce results.”

This is not the first controversy that Guevara has figured in as head of the Conade. In June 2021, Mexican diver and two-time Olympic medalist Paola Espinosa accused Guevara of intentionally blackballing her from participating in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Guevara’s tenure at the Conade has been marred by allegations and complaints from athletes, whom she allegedly silences with the threat of cutting off their sports scholarships.

Guevara — a former Olympian and senator — has, in particular, been embroiled in controversies of misallocation of funds and alleged acts of extortion throughout her term.

Leave a Reply