Olympics Swimmers Sent Home from Tokyo After Being Told They Hadn't Qualified

Six Polish swimmers have been sent home from the Tokyo Olympics after it was revealed an administrative error meant the country had accidentally sent too many athletes to the Games.

Polish Swimming Federation (PZP) president Pawel Slominski has apologized after the body sent 23 swimmers to Japan to take part in the Olympics, which start on Friday, July 23, despite International Swimming Federation (FINA) rules meaning they could only send 17.

Among the six swimmers sent home just days before the start of the Games was Alicja Tchorz, who represented Poland at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.

The other five were Bartosz Piszczorowicz, Aleksandra Polanska, Mateusz Chowaniec, Dominika Kossakowska and Jan Holub, reported Reuters.

"I express great regret, sadness and bitterness about the situation related to the qualification of our players for the Olympic Games in Tokyo," Slominski said in a statement.

"Such a situation should not take place, and the reaction of the players, their emotions, the attacks on the Polish Swimming Federation is understandable and justified.

"I would like to emphasize that at every stage of decision-making, the PZP Management Board and I personally were guided by the desire to allow as many players and coaches as possible to take part in the Olympics," Slominski added.

"We are constantly analyzing all the events and trying to answer the question whether or not at which point we failed to complete any formalities. We made a mistake."

Tchorz expressed her anger at the debacle in a lengthy post on Facebook.

"Imagine dedicating five years of your life and striving for another start at the most important sporting event, giving up your private life and work, sacrificing your family and your dedication results in a total flop," she wrote.

"Six days before the grand finale, it turns out that you were denied your dreams because of the incompetence of third parties."

Chowaniec added on Instagram: "I'm deeply shocked by what happened. This is an absurd situation for me that should never have happened. In fact, I hope to wake up from this nightmare eventually."

Several Polish swimmers have also signed an open letter demanding the entire PZP board resign over the incident.

"The actions of the Association led to an unprecedented event in the history of Polish sport," the letter states, via Swim Swam.

"In addition, Polish swimming – both in the eyes of the public and potential sponsors – has been exposed as a laughing stock. and it will have a glaring effect on all competitors who compete in the white and red colors on a daily basis.

"We appeal to the president and the entire board to resign immediately."

poland swimmers
Alicja Tchorz of Poland competes during the Women's 50m Backstroke Heats on day thirteen of the Budapest 2017 FINA World Championships on July 26, 2017 in Budapest, Hungary. Tchorz is one of six swimmers who have been sent home from the Tokyo Olympics because Poland sent too many athletes. Clive Rose/Getty Images