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Italian and European swim chief faces fraud claim


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ROME (AP) — The president of the Italian swimming federation, Paolo Barelli, has offered to resign if fraud accusations directed at him are proved true in an escalating feud with the country's Olympic committee.

CONI, the Olympic committee, denounced the swimming federation in court last month after an internal audit cast doubt on the use of more than €800,000 (around $1 million) that was intended for pool improvements for the 2009 swimming world championships in Rome.

Barelli, who is also honorary secretary of world aquatics body FINA and president of the European body LEN, defended himself Wednesday at a CONI meeting.

He says, "If the fraud charge is proved, I will resign immediately, as will my executive committee."

Barelli adds that, if the charge is not true, "someone must pay the consequences."

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