New Hungarian swimming president Bienerth promises more transparency
Gusztáv Bienerth has been elected as the new president of the Hungarian swimming association, the MUSZ, replacing Tamás Gyárfás, who had resigned in November under pressure from critics including three-times Olympic champion Katinka Hosszu (pictured) who called him the “most harmful factor” in Hungarian swimming.
Bienerth is the Hungarian commissioner for tourism and is also a vice president of Budapest 2024, the city’s bid to host the Olympic Games in that year.
There were fears that the controversy could harm this year’s FINA World Championships, which Budapest is also hosting.
Several of the country’s top swimmers had wanted a change at the top, citing a need for greater transparency and more democratic decision-making within the federation and better training conditions for athletes.
Bienerth, who is reported to have agreed with the swimmers’ grievances, has said that he will review committees’ roles within the organisation, as well as how the system can be more transparent in its support of swimmers.
Earlier this year Gyárfás was re-elected as treasurer of LEN, European aquatics’ governing body, which he represents on the ruling bureau of FINA, the sport's international federation.
He was considered instrumental in bringing the FINA World Championships to Budapest. The capital was due to stage the 2021 championships but stepped in at short notice for 2017 when original host Guadalajara in Mexico pulled out, citing the effect of falling oil prices.
Gyárfás is also a member of the Budapest 2024 bid committee.