Tokyo, July 21: Six Poland swimmers were sent home from Tokyo with their Olympic dreams in tatters thanks to the blunder commited by the country's swimming body.
An administrative mistake meant that Poland had infringed Olympic rules by overfilling their roster with 23 members instead of the permitted 17 athletes, so a decision had to be made on who to send home.
The unfortunate group - all relay swimmers - had only just arrived in Tokyo as part of the strong Polish contingent when they received news of an error by the Polish Swimming Federation in the qualification submission process.
According to reports, the six swimmers were identified as Alicja Tchorz, Bartosz Piszczorowicz, Aleksandra Polanska, Mateusz Chowaniec, Dominika Kossakowska and Jan Holub.
Tchorz, who had competed at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games, and Chowaniec expressed their anger on social media platforms.
"Imagine dedicating five years of your life and striving for another start at the most important sporting event ... giving up your private life and work, sacrificing your family ... your dedication results in a total flop," Tchorz wrote on Facebook.
Chowaniec posted on Instagram: "I'm deeply shocked by what happened... this is an absurd situation for me that should never have happened. In fact, I hope to wake up from this nightmare eventually."
All of Poland's Olympic swimmers, with the exception of sprint ace Kasia Wasick, reportedly only because she is not yet in Tokyo, have signed an open letter calling for the entire board of the Polish Swimming Federation to resign immediately.
"Polish swimming - both in the eyes of the public and potential sponsors - has been exposed as a laughing stock," read the letter.
(With inputs from Agencies)