Monday, 20 August 2018 | News today: 22

Popovski resigns, Malenko denies allegations Evgenij Pop Acev was wronged

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Following recent allegations that marathon swimmer Evgenij Pop Acev was deliberately not entered in the upcoming European Swimming Championships in Glasgow, college swimming coach Aleksandar Popovski has resigned as Macedonia’s Swimming Federation managing board member.

Citing moral objections, Popovski said the Swimming Federation management ‘did an injustice to our swimmer.’

According to Popovski, the management prevented Pop Acev from taking part in important marathon races, which has culminated in the latest failure to enter him into the Glasgow Championships ‘despite their promises a month ago that everything was fine and that Evgenij would compete.’

On Wednesday, Pop Acev accused the Swimming Federation that it deliberately did not enter him into the 10k and 25k open-water races in Glasgow.

On Thursday, the Federation denied the allegations by releasing a statement signed by its president, former Olympic swimmer Aleksandar Malenko.

The statement said Pop Acev ‘completely failed to produce results in the 10k and 25k official disciplines.’

Also on Thursday, the Federation called an urgent meeting and said every effort was made to enter Pop Acev in the competition, especially between July 31 and August 6, when they sent daily emails to the Glasgow 2018 European Championships organizers.

The organizers, however, never replied.

The Agency for Youth and Sports, meanwhile, said it was closely following the case.

Pop Acev, the Agency wrote in a press release, is ‘one of the most successful Macedonian swimmers’ and ‘one of the greatest sports ambassadors of our country.’

“We regret we weren’t informed sooner that, despite having met the entry criteria, [Pop Acev] wasn’t entered into the championships,” the Agency for Youth and Sports wrote.

“If we had known, we would have sent official letters to relevant sports institutions to find a way to support him.”

The Agency’s release calls on everyone who decided against Pop Acev taking part in the championships to publicly state the arguments for their decision and to accept responsibility.