Swimming’s governing body formally warned officials in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates for disrespecting Israeli swimmers at World Cup events.
FINA executive director Cornel Marculescu told The Associated Press the two organizing committees apologized for the “stupid” incidents.
He said Israel’s team protested when the country’s name and flag appeared to be censored in pre-race introductions and television broadcasts.
Qatar will host the 2014 World Short-Course Championships in Doha for FINA, which has rules prohibiting discrimination.
Marculescu said “next year we have the World Championships and these things will not happen anymore.”
He said the problem was resolved during the events, at Dubai last Thursday and Friday, and Doha on Sunday and Monday.
Israeli swimmer Amit Ivri won a medal at both meetings.
The organizers of the Swimming World Cup in Doha, Qatar, on Sunday failed to show the Israeli flag in their computer graphics displaying the races, substituting a white flag in its place, and failed to display the country name “Israel” — instead using “IRS” — in several of the cup’s races.
Some races in which Israelis featured were also not broadcast by the Qatar authorities, according to some reports.
The Israeli flag was also removed from outside the venue. A tweet was posted Sunday complaining about the flag’s presence before it was taken down from outside the Aspire Zone, according to the Doha News.
Ivri said Tuesday that the experience was highly unpleasant, but she also stressed that the Israeli flag was raised when she stood on the podium to receive her silver medal.
“I’d much rather not talk about politics,” she told Army Radio.
She said that prior races, held in Dubai, took place in a warmer atmosphere for the Israelis. But Gal Nevo, who finished fifth in the men’s 200-meter individual medley in Qatar, said Israel was airbrushed out of the graphics in the early stages of the Dubai event too, although there was later “an improvement.”
Yesh Atid MK Yoel Rozbozov called the treatment of the Israeli delegation “shameful to all participants,” and vowed to file an official complaint with the International Olympic Committee and the International Swimming Federation.
JTA contributed to this report.
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