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Days after being sued, FINA launches new swim series

FINA says it's launching a new series for elite swimmers, while being challenged by a privately-run rival competition and a class action suit by Olympic and world champions.

'FINA Champions Swim Series' will pay $3.9 million US in total prize money.

South African Olympic swimmer Chad le Clos has come out in support of the proposed International Swimming League. FINA has threatened to ban swimmers who compete in events linked to the International Swimming League. (Laszlo Balogh/Getty Images)

FINA says it's launching a new series for elite swimmers, while being challenged by a privately-run rival competition and a class action suit by Olympic and world champions.

FINA says the series of three meetings next March to May will invite Olympic and world champions, world record-holders, and top-ranked swimmers in four-lane races.

The "FINA Champions Swim Series" will pay $3.9 million US in total prize money.

WATCH: Benoit Huot on FINA's dilemma:  

Swimmers have filed an anti-trust suit against FINA for blocking athletes from competing at an outside meet. 20x Paralympic medallist Benoit Huot weighs in on what's pushing other swimmers to act. 0:39

FINA announced the plan on Thursday, days after three top swimmers filed an antitrust suit in a Californian court against the Switzerland-based swim body's alleged anti-competitive practices.

WATCH: Mark Tewksbury discusses rival league controversy: 

The upcoming International Swimming League is bringing the sport's international federation to the spotlight after FINA blocked athletes from competing in a recent ISL meet. Retired swimmer and 3x Olympic medallist Mark Tewksbury gives his take. 0:37

FINA has threatened to ban swimmers who compete in events linked to the proposed International Swimming League. It aims to operate outside FINA's control and pay higher prize money.

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