Unlike Fina, which extended invites for its new series to athletes who have served drug bans, the ISL operates a zero-tolerance doping policy. Peaty, who recently tweeted in support of making doping an illegal offence worldwide, said this showed athletes were “being listened to”.
Grigorishin’s aim is to create swimming superstars by bringing them to a worldwide audience regularly, not just at the Olympics.
“If you ask somebody to name five top swimmers, 90 per cent can’t answer. This is something we have to change. If you only saw Lionel Messi every four years, who would know him?”
Peaty’s achievements in the sport have earned him superstar status in swimming, but for an athlete who has won every accolade, the ISL offers a fresh challenge during the monotonous training months.
“I’ve never been one to have no motivation, because I know to get my 11th world record or 12th or 13th I’ve got to be better than that guy that’s next to me every single day.
“But I’ve been doing the same format for the last six years, going to the same competitions, winning the same medals, the same world records, which is obviously great and I don’t take it for granted, but it gets a bit tedious. I need a different motivation to keep winning.”