US swimmers will need to pay a $2,595 fee to compete at Chengdu 2021 but that does not cover flight costs to China ©Getty Images

American swimmers face paying more than $3,000 (£2,450/€2,800) to compete at this year's International University Sports Federation Summer World University Games in Chengdu.

The United States International University Sports Federation (US-IUSF) has revealed that swimmers looking to participate in the Chinese city will need to pay $2,595 plus the cost of plane tickets after USA Swimming opted not to send a team to the Games.

With no support from the national governing body, athletes face paying their own way to compete in the US swimming team in Chengdu.

A flyer has been distributed by athletic event management company BTI Events LLC, calling on student-swimmers to represent the US at the World University Games.

The $2,595 fee is set to cover seven nights’ accommodation at the Athletes’ Village, USA team apparel, the opportunity to march in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, a sightseeing tour of Chengdu and tickets to attend other sporting events.

The US-IUSF is inviting student-swimmers to compete at Chengdu 2021 after USA swimming decided not to send a team ©US-IUSF
The US-IUSF is inviting student-swimmers to compete at Chengdu 2021 after USA swimming decided not to send a team ©US-IUSF

US-IUSF spokesperson David Knopp told SwimSwam that the "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunity to represent the US at the Games would be "well worth the expense".

"We recognise that some athletes and their parents may be uneasy about competing in China, but the process should be simpler this year since China’s Covid and travel restrictions are now almost non-existent," said Knopp.

"For background, Chengdu has shown incredible commitment and dedication by spending billions of dollars to upgrade its facilities and infrastructure to host this World University Games event.

"As one of its country’s largest cities, Chengdu will draw on China’s overall depth of experience in hosting global sporting events, as well as two extra years of preparation due to postponements."

The US topped the swimming medal table when the Games were last staged in Naples in 2019 after notching 19 golds, 12 silvers and nine bronzes.

Among the gold medallists four years ago were Zach Apple, Gabby DeLoof and Katharine Berkoff.

Chengdu's Games were originally scheduled for 2021 but were postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

They are now scheduled to open on July 28 and continue to August 8, with the US aiming to send a 300-strong team to compete across 18 sports.