Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Serious Allegations Made Against the Performances of Freediver Branko Petrovic


It seems hardly a year passes without some serious allegations regarding a diving world record.

In a recently published 56-page document entitled “Undisputed Truth” by Freediving 10x Freediving World Record holder Mateusz (Matt) Malina, there are some alarming allegations about the performances, professionalism, and abilities of world record holder Branko Petrovic.

Mateusz (Matt) Malina
Mateusz (Matt) Malina

The document stems from a doping case brought against Malina and fellow freedivers Veljano Zanki and Goran Colak stemming from Dubai’s 2020 Fazza Freediving competition.  Although not widely reported, Malina, Zanki, and Colak all tested positive for Beta Blockers, which are banned substances under World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules for both AIDA and CMAS.

The main thrust of the allegations by Malina is that Petrovic seems to have set his records across his career using Beta Blockers when there were no doping controls present.  Petrovic set significant records in competitions outside AIDA and CMAS rules (for example, the Fazza competition up until 2019) and has not been able to recreate his stunning performances in competitions with full doping controls.

What are Beta Blockers

Beta Blockers are a type of medication that blocks the action of beta adrenaline receptors. This, in turn, reduces the heart rate, blood pressure, and stress responses.  This can be beneficial to competitive freedivers as this allows the body to get into a relaxed state quicker and allow for longer breath holds than would typically be achieved without significant training.

The community responds

The document was posted to the AIDA International Facebook Group and has caused quite a stir.  Readers have had a mixed response, with some backing Malina’s thoughts. Others have accused Malina of diverting attention away from his doping issues.  Petrovic himself also commented has accused Malina of slander and has threatened legal action.

Matt Malina posts his document on the AIDA International Facebook Group
Matt Malina posts his document on the AIDA International Facebook Group

Note: takes no view on the claims made by Malina against Petrovic and is simply reporting that this document has been published on Facebook and elsewhere.

You can find the document here.

Sam Helmy
Sam Helmy
Sam Helmy is a TDI/SDI Instructor Trainer, and PADI Staff and Trimix Instructor. Diving for 28 years, a dive pro for 14, I have traveled extensively chasing my passion for diving. I am passionate about everything diving, with a keen interest in exploration, Sharks and big stuff, Photography and Decompression theory. Diving is definitely the one and only passion that has stayed with me my whole life! Sam is a Staff Writer for