Six Polish swimmers flew back to Warsaw from Tokyo on Sunday with their Olympic rag dreams.
The unfortunate group – all relay swimmers – had just arrived in Tokyo as part of the 23-member Polish contingent when they received news of a mistake by the Polish Swimming Federation in the qualifying process.
An administrative error meant that Poland had violated the Olympic rules by filling its list of permitted athletes, so a decision had to be made as to whom to send home.
All Olympic swimmers in Poland, with the exception of sprint ace Kasia Wasik, who is said not to be in Tokyo yet, have signed an open letter urging the entire board of the Polish Swimming Federation to resign immediately.
“Polish swimming – both in the eyes of the public and potential sponsors – has been laughed at,” the letter said.