Tunisian Officials Arrested Over Flag Covering Incident at Swimming Meet

Tue May 14 2024
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TUNIS, Tunisia: Following the covering of the nation’s flag during a swimming competition in Tunis, the leaders of the National Anti-Doping Organization (ANAD) and the Swimming Federation of Tunisia have been taken into custody.

The incident occurred in response to sanctions imposed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which had banned the Tunisian flag from competitions.

Tunisian President Kais Saied expressed outrage at the flag’s covering, prompting an investigation into the matter. Nine individuals, including the two presidents who have been in police custody since Saturday, are facing charges such as “attack on the flag of Tunisia” and “plot against the internal security” of the state.

WADA issued a statement expressing concern over the reported arrest of the ANAD director general and called for his immediate release. The agency has been working with Tunisian authorities to address the non-conformity issue swiftly.

President Saied visited the pool where the incident occurred, raising the flag and singing the national anthem in response. He emphasized that Tunisia comes before any sporting committees and denounced the flag covering as “an act of aggression.”

The Tunisian youth and sports ministry announced the dissolution of the swimming federation board and the dismissal of ANAD officials following President Saied’s instructions to take immediate action against those responsible for hiding the national flag.

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