KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: The international aquatics federation FINA has taken decisive action against both Russia and its satellite neighbour Belarus in the wake of the military invasion of Ukraine.

A statement said: “FINA maintains its strongest condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. FINA also wishes to reiterate its commitment to supporting the Ukraine Swimming, Diving and Artistic Swimming Federation as they prepare for upcoming competitions.”

The controlling FINA bureau has banned all Russian and Belarusian competitiors and officials from its competitions including the forthcoming World Championships in Budapest.   It also stripped the Russian city of Kazan of the World 25m Championships in December.

A statement added:

FINA also previously removed a number of aquatics events scheduled for Russia. Today, the FINA Bureau also decided to remove the hosting of the FINA Swimming World Championships (25M) 2022 from Kazan (RUS). The scheduled dates of 17-22 December 2022 will be maintained, and FINA is currently in discussions with potential hosts to take over the event.    

Separately, the FINA Executive confirmed that the FINA Disciplinary Panel has opened a procedure against Russian swimmer Evgeny Rylov for a potential violation of the FINA rules following his alleged participation in a pro-war rally at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. The FINA Executive has requested that the Panel’s proceedings be expedited.         

FINA said the Russian Swimming Federation had formally withdrawn its competitors from all FINA events for the rest of this year.