Hungary's swim head resigns ahead of hosting 2017 worlds
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) The head of Hungary's swimming federation said Wednesday he was resigning, less than a year before the country will host the 2017 world championships.
Calls for the ouster of Tamas Gyarfas, who first became federation president in 1993, were led by three-time Olympic champion Katinka Hosszu, who called him the ''most harmful factor'' for Hungarian swimming.
Hosszu and other top swimmers made repeated appeals for greater transparency and more democratic decision-making within the federation and better training conditions.
Gyarfas, a former journalist and television producer who had been able to distance himself from numerous scandals at the federation over the years, said he decided to resign because it was ''what I can now do to help the most.''
''My biggest joy is that I can see the new swimming complex under construction,'' Gyarfas said regarding the facilities being built near the Danube River in Budapest for the world championships.
Gyarfas was considered instrumental in bringing the event to Hungary for the first time.
The world swimming championships are seen as a key test of Hungary's abilities to host large sporting events and will be held a couple of months before the International Olympic Committee choses the host city for the 2024 Olympics. The candidates are Budapest, Los Angeles and Paris.
Gyarfas briefly resigned in 1996, after it came to light that a couple of Hungarian swimmers on the team which competed at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics were nominated based on false qualifying times. He was reinstated nearly unanimously.
After the Gyarfas announcement, Hosszu posted a picture of herself on Facebook wearing a T-shirt with a drawing of shackled hands grabbing a hand holding a whip.
''Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise!'' wrote Hosszu, who is trained by her American husband, Shane Tusup, and won three gold medals and a silver medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Gyarfas and the federation have blamed Tusup for the bad blood that has developed between them.
Daniel Gyurta, a gold medalist at the 2012 London Olympics who had also called for new leadership at the federation, wrote ''Deep breath. Tabula rasa'' on his Facebook page.