Swimming Australia is no longer supporting the upstart professional league that was slated to begin in the nation in 2022.
The Australian Swimming League (ASL) was officially announced in July, bringing a format similar to the one engineered by the International Swimming League (ISL) to the Land Down Under with an expected start date in the fourth quarter of 2022.
The league is privately owned and funded, but was operating under full support from Swimming Australia.
However, the national governing body cut ties with the ASL on Wednesday due to concerns over league ownership and its commercial viability.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Swimming Australia’s decision came after its report regarding founder and principal ASL owner David Brandi was convicted of tax fraud and disqualified from managing corporations.
“Swimming Australia has suspended our support of the ASL whilst we await further information requested from their management off the back of the weekend’s report and into other commercial programs needed to ensure the financial stability and success of the league,” a Swimming Australia spokeswoman told The Sydney Morning Herald.
The news was delivered to the ASL following a board meeting where Eugenie Buckley was officially appointed the CEO of Swimming Australia after serving on an interim basis following Alex Baumann‘s resignation due to health reasons following the Olympics.
Baumann had fully backed the ISL, but the Herald notes that sources believe Buckley came in with more of a skeptical eye to the commercial viability of the league and its subsequent benefit to Swimming Australia.
The conviction of Brandi is believed to have been the true dealbreaker for Swimming Australia. The man who first pitched the league to Swimming Australia last year is serving a two-year jail term after pleading guilty to dishonestly obtaining a gain from the Commonwealth.
Originally posted on SwimSwam.com. Click here to Read More.