Ana Guevara Ordered to Reinstate Swim Team’s Stipends
PULSE NEWS MEXICO
After a barrage of insults and crude comments about Mexico’s gold-medal-winning artistic swimming team — including telling them that “they could take off their underwear and sell it,” for all she cared — National Sports Commission (Conade) head Ana Gabriela Guevara was ordered by a judge Wednesday, June 7, to reinstate the athletes’ government stipends, which she had suspended claiming that synchronized swimming is “not a real sport.”
As a result of an appeal by the swimmers, who took three gold medals and a bronze in the May 15 competition in Egypt, increasing their FINA World Championships and their likelihood to compete in the 2024 Olympics in Paris, a judge in administrative matters ordered Guevara “to continue delivering scholarships and incentives to the members of the national artistic swimming team.
Guevara had announced funding cuts to the Mexican synchronized swim team at the start of the year, an arbitrary act that most outside analysts considered petty revenge against the athletes.
As a result, the swimmers resorted to selling swim suits on line to pay for their training, equipment and travel expenses.
Despite public outrage at Guevara’s actions and statements, the Conade head has consistently received a nod of support from Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), who appointed her to the post.
Agustín Tello Espíndola, head of the Eleventh District Court in Administrative Matters in Mexico City, granted the swimmers a “provisional suspension” in the collective appeal that they filed against the Conade’s omission to report on the cancellation of the scholarship they won for the results obtained during the Budapest 2022 Swimming World Cup, in which they placed fourth.
The judge also instructed Conade to allow the swimmers access to the assigned facilities to carry out their training, to which Guevara had denied them use.
The judge scheduled a June 12 hearing during which he will determine if the swimmers will be granted a final suspension of Conade’s cancelling of their government financial grants.