Swimming's governing body FINA has been drawn into a commission scandal days before both their presidential elections and the start of the swimming events at the world championships.
Kuwait's Husain Al Musallam, who is standing unopposed as FINA's first vice-president, has been caught up in a controversy for appearing to demand a 10 percent cut of potential sponsorship deals in a tape recording obtained by The Times and Germany's Speigel Online.In his role as general director of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), the 57-year-old is heard asking a business partner for 'commissions' on deals worth "40 to 50 million" dollars.
The exchange is said to be between a prospective Chinese marketing agent and Musallam, who suggested that 10 percent of any sponsorship deals arranged for the OCA should be separately channelled to him.
FINA have yet to comment on the scandal that comes ahead of their elections in Budapest on Saturday and Sunday's start of swimming action at the world championships in the Hungarian capital.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) told The Times and Der Spiegel that it had passed the allegations to its chief ethics investigator.
It is not the first time this year that Musallam has courted controversy.
In April, The Times revealed, he was effectively identified in a US Department of Justice indictment as a co-conspirator who allegedly paid bribes to a football official.
Musallam is the right-hand man of Olympic powerbroker and OCA president Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah, who in April resigned from his FIFA after being identified as a co-conspirator, along with Musallam, in the US indictment.
The recording obtained by The Times has emerged from the FBI investigation into Musallam and Sheikh Ahmad.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.