— Published 24 March 2021

Raid at LEN headquarters

Discomfort at the European Swimming League (LEN). Just days after news of the indictment in Russia of one of its leaders, Alexei Vlasenko, arrested in Moscow on suspicion of large-scale fraud, another case splashes into the mainland. The stateofswimming website reveals that the Swiss police carried out a search of the LEN headquarters in Nyon, in the canton of Vaud. They seized documents and inspected some computers. The police operation was carried out as part of an investigation into allegations of financial irregularities and “inappropriate behaviour” against several of LEN’s top leaders. The inquiries include Paolo Barelli, the president of LEN (photo above, center), David Sparkes, the secretary general, and Tamas Gyarfas, the former treasurer. The case began last year after internal revelations from Bartolo Consolo, the former president of LEN, about some questionable actions by the team in place under contracts signed with providers. The Vaud police confirmed that “documents useful for further investigation were seized” during the search at LEN headquarters. According to stateofswimming, the Swiss prosecutor could start hearing witnesses next month. As a reminder, the Italian Paolo Barelli was re-elected last November for a third term as President of the LEN. With 86% of the vote, he was clearly ahead of his only rival, the Frenchman Gilles Sezionale, president of the French Swimming Federation, credited with 13% of the vote.