Budapest - Swimming's governing body FINA has been drawn
into a commission scandal days before both their presidential elections and the
start of the swimming events at the world championships.
Kuwait's Husain Al Musallam, who is standing unopposed as
FINA's first vice-president, has been caught up in a controversy for appearing
to demand a 10 percent cut of potential sponsorship deals in a tape recording
obtained by The Times and Germany's Speigel Online.
In his role as general director of the Olympic Council of
Asia (OCA), the 57-year-old is heard asking a business partner for
'commissions' on deals worth "$40 to $50 million".
The exchange is said to be between a prospective Chinese
marketing agent and Musallam, who suggested that 10 per cent of any sponsorship
deals arranged for the OCA should be separately channelled to him.
FINA have yet to comment on the scandal that comes ahead of
their elections in Budapest on Saturday and Sunday's start of swimming action
at the world championships in the Hungarian capital.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) told The Times and
Der Spiegel that it had passed the allegations to its chief ethics
It is not the first time this year that Musallam has courted
In April, The Times revealed, he was effectively identified
in a US Department of Justice indictment as a co-conspirator who allegedly paid
bribes to a football official.
Musallam is the right-hand man of Olympic powerbroker and
OCA president Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah, who in April resigned from his
FIFA after being identified as a co-conspirator, along with Musallam, in the US
The recording obtained by The Times has emerged from the FBI
investigation into Musallam and Sheikh Ahmad.