The swimmer that passed out and needed to be rescued at the world championships has been handed some bad news.

A war of words has erupted at the swimming world championships after artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez was banned from competition.

The 25-year-old was dramatically rescued from the bottom of the pool in Budapest after fainting. She is reported to have gone more than two minutes without breathing.

The American had just hours earlier indicated she wanted to return to the pool to compete in the team event on Saturday morning — but her comeback was shut down on the spot by swimming’s governing body FINA.

Her coach Andrea Fuentes, who has been labelled a hero for her quick-action in leaping into the pool to save Alvarez, said before the finals of the team event that Alvarez “would almost certainly compete”.

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Incredible underwater photos captured the frightening episode.

The American team’s medical staff cleared Alvarez to compete, but FINA overruled.

“That was a decision FINA had made,” said Selina Shah, US artistic swimming’s team doctor.

“In my opinion she could have competed, I am very confident,” Shah said.

FINA said it had organised a medical examination on Friday morning that included three representatives of its medical committee, its executive director, Dr. Shah and US team officials.

“Following these discussions, FINA determined that Anita Alvarez should not compete today,” FINA said in a statement.

“The health and safety of athletes must always come first. While FINA understands why this decision will have been disappointing to the athlete, it was a decision that was made with her best interests in mind.

The governing body said it was “delighted” that Alvarez had made “such a strong recovery” and looked forward to seeing her in competition again soon.

Shah said she did not know how FINA had reached its conclusion that Alvarez should not compete.

“I’m not aware of their decision making process.”

Fuentez’s earlier comment showed just how stunned the team was by FINA’s ruling.

“She doesn’t want to leave here with the photo of her unconscious at the bottom of the pool,” Fuentez said of Alvarez.

“In any case in the team events Anita does a lot of pirouettes and very few apneas so she will almost certainly compete.”

Alvarez had been entered in the team event on Friday and was on every official startlist until just before the event was scheduled to begin when she was replaced on the eight-woman team by Yujin Chang.

Standing in the warm-up area before the event, as the US swimmers made their final preparations behind her, Shah said she was sure Alvarez would be cheering the team on.

“I think she is very excited for the team to compete and she’s a great athlete and she’s going to be there supporting them.”

The US team finished ninth out of 12 in an event won by China.

On Wednesday, AFP’s underwater robot camera captured astonishing images as Alvarez sank and Fuentes, dived to the bottom of the pool and dragged the swimmer to the surface.

The USA artistic team originally released a statement on Thursday saying Alvarez had fainted due to her effort during the routine.

“This happened to her once last year at the Olympic Qualification Tournament when competing her duet,” an US spokeswoman added.

Swimmer speaks on near-tragedy for the first time

Alvarez, a two-time Olympian also broke her silence on Friday night, revealing extraordinary details of her near-tragedy.

“I remember feeling like it was a really great performance,” Alvarez told NBC Nightly News in an exclusive interview following the Wednesday individual final, in which she finished seventh.

“Like, my best one by far and not only just how I performed, but just that I was actually enjoying it and really living in the moment, too,” she said.

“So, because of that I feel really happy and really proud.”

Alvarez, who was joined by Fuentes for the interview, said she gave “everything until the very end” of her performance.

“And then I remember going down and just being like, kind of like, uh oh, like, I don’t feel too great, and that’s literally the last thing I remember, actually,” she said.

Frozen lifeguards didn’t act quick enough

Fuentes was critical of the slow reaction of the lifeguards at the Aquatic World Championships, which finish on Sunday.

“When I saw her sinking, I looked at the rescuers, but I saw that they were stunned. They didn’t react,” Fuentes said.

“I thought, ‘Will you jump in now?’ My reflexes kicked in quickly. I’m like that, I can’t just stare.

“I didn’t overthink it, I jumped. I think it was the craziest and fastest free dive I’ve ever done in my career.

“I picked her up and lifted her, obviously she was heavy, it wasn’t easy.”

— with AFP

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