8th March 2021

Statement from the Bulgarian Swimming Federation

In connection with the broadcast on 06.03.2021 by bTV reporters, we, the Bulgarian Swimming Federation, want to give our official position. We stand firmly behind the three competitors and will provide all possible assistance in the process of establishing the truth.

Never in their training or during competitions has any competitor been forced to take a food supplement by force. Everyone is given the opportunity to get acquainted with the content of vitamins and supplements of world-famous and proven manufacturers, which we have been giving to swimmers for more than three years. So far, we have not had a problem or a positive doping test in more than 200 anti-doping inspections – both in the preparatory and in the competition period.

From the content of the ambiguous secret recording of Georgi Avramchev in the report it is clear that he uses a comparison and gives an example – “if we were …, then we would”. The words, taken out of context, are interpreted as ‘vicious practices’ and ‘the possibility of manipulating anti-doping agencies’. Everyone familiar with professional sports knows that this is impossible. A fact that was also confirmed by the national anti-doping centre. To state the opposite borders on slander.

In a news program broadcast on 2 March 2021 one of our most successful athletes, Anthony Ivanov, stressed that he does not want the resignation of the President of the federation Georgi Avramchev, because he is excellent at his managerial functions and it is not his job to monitor the training and recovery process. In the report, broadcast on 6 March 2021 at 19:30, the same athlete “wants to resign” and speaks insultingly about the team and training in his homeland, where he developed as a swimmer. In the same report there is no trace of the positive words of the athlete, broadcast 4 days earlier. Why?

The bTV investigation did not point to other possibilities for stanozolol entering the body, namely the risk of contamination of the supplements given to the national team, intentional or accidental intake by a competitor, as well as deliberate discrediting of our competitors by others. On the contrary, it is suggested that the reason can only originate at the headquarters of the national team, although they have no motive because stanozolol is absolutely useless in swimming.

Despite the created tension and the unproven allegations in the reports broadcast by bTV on the case with the positive doping tests, we hope for objective coverage. We are sure that our programme for the development of swimming gives clear results. BFPS and the headquarters of the national team will complete the Olympic program and provide our athletes with the necessary conditions for the realisation of their four years of work and fulfilment of their dreams for a decent ranking and excellence at the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games.

• This statement has been translated from the original published by the Bulgarian Swimming Federation (BFPS) on 8 March 2021. Click here for the original.

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