Adam Peaty says the International Swimming League will take the sport in right direction
By Husmukh Kerai
Last Updated: 06/03/19 6:33pm
Olympic champion and world-record holder Adam Peaty says the International Swimming League (ISL) can take the sport in the right direction.
Peaty, an ambassador and a vocal advocate of the ISL, believes it is the best way for top athletes to realise both their physical and financial potential, as well as ushering in a new, high-profile era which will encourage future generations to take up the sport.
The ISL format consists of eight teams - four from Europe and four from the United States - with each team compiled of variety of international swimmers compiled under a salary cap.
The 24-year-old will be joined in the ISL London team by fellow Olympic and world champions including Kyle Chalmers and Cate Campbell.
The London leg will take place in November, with a venue still to be confirmed, with the Series final scheduled for Las Vegas one month later.
"For the sport to grow, really, we knew we needed someone to step in and create something exciting. For the last 20 years we haven't had that," he told Sky Sports News.
"For the last six years, yes the racing is exciting, but it's not really growing the sport.
"For the athletes, like myself, we need something that is professional - which it will be.
"We'll be paid athletes for the first time ever, pretty much in a professional sense. We've (previously) made our money from sponsors and appearances and stuff like that.
"You talk about advantages? I'll be racing people who are clean, first of all. The athletes have a voice and there is a 50-50 revenue split with the league. There are literally a hundred points I can talk about.
"It's growing the sport in the right direction. Having a league every year rather than every four years is the biggest thing."
Peaty revealed he has had conversations about certain ways in which the ISL can modernise the sport and distinguish itself from the Olympics and World Championships.
"We've had a few conversations about getting cameras in the cool room having pre-race interviews. Fans don't really see what is going on behind closed doors - it's very tense," he revealed.
"Who says we can't open that up? We'll see whose mind goes, who bottles it and who works off that. You can swim fast at the Olympics but can you swim fast at the ISL? There will be a very different approach to all that I guess."
Peaty has also been a vocal critic of FINA during the rancorous build-up to the new tournament, who launched their own
rival event and back-tracked on threats to ban swimmers who competed in ISL events.
"(I received) no letters of apology or anything like that," he revealed.
"It's a bit disrespectful to athletes to make a threat and then take it away without any explanation.
That's the world of politics - I train and swim. I have a very good team around me which deal with that."