Ana Guevara canceled scholarships to medalists
The management of Mexican sports is once again at the center of the controversy. People close to the gymnast Alexa Moreno have announced that the athlete who gave Mexico its best role in this Olympic had to deal with various expenses on her own.
Alexa Moreno, the acclaimed Mexican gymnast who took this discipline to levels never seen before, had to pay for the expenses on instruments that she lacked prior to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games from her own pocket, as revealed by an executive of the agency that represents her.
This data is released along with two equally controversial facts. On the one hand, Forbes magazine reveals that Ana Gabriela Guevara, general director of the National Commission for Physical Culture and Sports (Conade), extinguished the Fund for High-Performance Sports (Fodepar) used to pay 1,997 scholarships to Olympic medalists.
On the other, the result of the medal table: Mexico disputes 75th place with Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. The harvest has been poor, despite the fact that the promise was to win 10 medals and surpass the performance of the Mexico Olympics in 1968, when nine medals were won – 3 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze -, and which has been to date the best national performance.
Frida Martínez, the co-founder of Athlete Booster, an agency that represents gymnast Alexa Moreno, gave an account of one of the elements that high-performance athletes have to deal with: lack of resources. In a thread shared on his Twitter account, she defended Moreno’s performance and shared that the gymnast had to deal with certain aspects.
“With her national sports award, she bought her equipment to be able to train in the absence of adequate ones in Mexico (Infrastructure for high performance is urgently needed),” she published in a first tweet. In another, she added: “She risked it all with everything and that she brings a MEGA shoulder injury and thus she trained for months to get here, now she will inevitably have to make a visit to the operating room.”
Gymnast Alexa Moreno Medina made history by reaching fourth place in horse jumping at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Moreno Medina became the second Mexican gymnast to compete in an Olympic final since Denisse López, in Sydney 2000.
Asked in an interview about the expenses that the Mexican athlete had to cover on her own and if you approached the authorities on this issue, Martínez said that this could not be disclosed because it is “private data from Alexa.”
Martínez also specified on Twitter that the annual cost for a high-performance athlete to compete a year worldwide ranges from one to four million pesos and includes “food, rent, transportation, training equipment required, multidisciplinary teams (nutritionists, physiotherapists, psychologists, coaches) their per diem to attend national and international competitions ”.
“The main sponsors that allow our athletes to be where they are are the parents and close circle. Thank God every day more sponsors join her cause and lighten the load, “she said.
Regarding whether this was Moreno’s situation, Martínez said she was referring to Mexican high-performance sports in general.
GUEVARA EXTINGUISHES FODEPAR
On June 24, 2021, Ana Gabriela Guevara, head of the Conade and former Olympic medalist in Athens 2004, sent a letter to Rosa Elena Torres Dávila, Fiduciary Legal Director of the National Bank of the Army, Air Force, and Navy (Banjercito) to request the extinction of Fodepar, as reported by Forbes magazine, which had access to the document.
The fund, according to the media, also faces two labor lawsuits before the Special Board Number Six of the Federal Conciliation and Arbitration for 714 thousand pesos Julio César Ramos Escobedo and another for 629 thousand pesos for Alejandro Silva Behar.
Each month they allocated more than 20 million 359 thousand pesos for the payment of the scholarships of the medalists and their coaches, according to the list of beneficiaries that included scholarships to footballers who won the gold medal in the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Also featured are Ana Gabriela Guevara Espinoza, divers Fernando Platas Álvarez, Paola Espinosa Sánchez, Rommel Pacheco, among other athletes who – according to the same data – received support from this trust created in 1998.
This trust is one of the more than 100 canceled by orders of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador with which financial support was given to high-performance athletes. Although its use has been linked to irregularities from past administrations.
During the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, the Mexican Olympic Committee (COM) denounced that the then director of Conade, Alfredo Castillo, used resources from this Fund to pay thousands of pesos a month to his friends such as Israel Valero, Ricardo Langre and Julio César Everardo, then representatives of different sports institutions.
But the scandals during the administration of Castillo, who was disqualified by the Ministry of Public Function (SFP), continued after the arrival of Guevara. In the last three years, the Commission has been the target of accusations for cutting scholarships, false anti-doping, and cronyism.
In addition, the Public Function continued to detect irregularities in the Fodepar, to which is added a recent audit of the Public Account 2019 on lack of documentation to verify payments of millionaire contracts for goods and services that concluded in a complaint of extortion against the ex-broker. The also former senator of the Labor Party (PT) has defended herself against each arrow thrown against her and has denied the irregularities.
CUT TO SCHOLARSHIPS AMONG IRREGULAR EXPENDITURE
The Superior Audit of the Federation (ASF) identified inconsistencies that public servants of the Conade committed repeatedly in 2019 in the verification of the use of public resources of “Attention to Sports”, a program designed to provide comprehensive services to raise the competitive level of high-performance athletes.
In that year, the first of Ana Guevara’s administration and when the Pan American Games in Lima were held, the institution had a budget of 679 million 135 thousand pesos for said program. Due to lack of sufficient documentation to prove all the payments or services received, the irregularities in direct award contracts added an amount to be clarified for 186 million 706 thousand pesos, 27 percent of the budget for that item.
Along with this questioned expense, in June 2019 various athletes accused the cut of their scholarships from Fodepar such as the Olympic judo athlete Nabor Castillo Pérez, whose support went from 5,000 to 2,000 pesos or the high altitude diver and medalist. of gold in Fina 2017, Adriana Jiménez, who months later won an amparo so that the scholarship of 20 thousand pesos was returned. The amounts ranged from 1,000 to 30,000 pesos and depended on the category.
Given the decrease in the amount, the Conade argued that inconsistencies were found in athletes who are no longer active or who do not comply with technical support that supports them. The director Ana Gabriela Guevara assured that in August 2019 the resource would run out to the extent that they could no longer pay the basics such as electricity due to the budget cut of 70 million pesos.
“For athletes, it became normal to knock on the management door and receive discretionary support,” she declared that summer in an appearance before Senators.
In a previous television interview, he even called it a tantrum. “Yes there are resources, the only thing we did was ask the athletes to help with the adjustments, to give results. This was because reviewing step by step, she found 130 irregular athletes within the Fodepar and among those athletes, there were those who complained that one young man won more within the Building the Future program, ”the judo medalist Nabor Castillo.