An open letter has been sent to all 209 members of the International Swimming Association (FINA) including Bermuda warning them not to cooperate with a mysterious rival league attempting to sign up top athletes.
The letter, signed by FINA executive director Cornel Marculescu and also published on the world governing body's website, explains how FINA has become "aware" of a "so-called" international competition, the International Swimming League, which they "do not recognize".
"For the sake of clarification, the 'International Swimming League' is neither recognized by nor affiliated to FINA," the letter explains.
"Further, FINA has neither sanctioned the competitions organized by this entity, nor approved their sanction by other FINA bodies (continental, regional and national bodies).
"Consequently, the competitions of the 'International Swimming League' are not FINA sanctioned nor FINA approved.
"They are not part of the international calendar.
"The results and records achieved in these competitions are not and will not be recognized."
Little information has so far emerged about the International Swimming League.
insidethegames has obtained a contract sent to a swimmer in which the organization is said to have a registered office in Zurich.
However, the proposed contract is between the athlete and Pavhara Properties Limited, a company organized and existing in accordance with the laws of Cyprus.
insidethegames has not been able to contact either the League or Pavhara Properties Limited and it is not yet clear how many athletes have signed up.
The contract reveals that an International Swimming League Championship is due to take place at some point in December in which entrants will be split across eight clubs and teams.
No venues have been revealed, but participants have been promised a $1,770.00 appearance fee plus a total prize money pot of $842,400.