Poland sent six swimmers home after the Tokyo Olympics after selecting too many by mistake.
Poland initially chose 23 athletes, but had to reduce that number to 17 based on the qualification rules of the world governing body FINA.
The President of the Polish Swimming Federation (PZP), Pawel Slominski, apologized and said he understood the anger of those who returned home.
“I express great regret, sadness and bitterness at the situation,” he said in a statement.
“Such a situation should not take place, and the reaction of the swimmers, their emotions, the attack on the Polish Swimming Federation is understandable and justified to me.”
Slominski added that the error was due to “the desire to allow as many players and coaches as possible to participate in the Games”.
One of the six athletes, Alicja Tchorz, who represented Poland at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, expressed anger at the mistake on social media.
“Imagine dedicating five years of your life and fighting for another start at the most important sporting event, giving up your privacy and your job, sacrificing your family and your dedication results in total failure,” she said. written on Facebook.
Another of the six, Mateusz Chowaniec, said the Instagram: “I am deeply shocked by what happened. It is an absurd situation for me that should never have happened. In fact, I hope to wake up from this nightmare eventually.”
The majority of the Polish swimming team signed an open letter to the PZP calling for the resignation of the board following the incident.