Russian Olympic Champion Banned From Swimming For Putin Rally Appearance

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Russian Olympic gold medalist swimmer Evgeny Rylov has been banned from the game for 9 months for showing at a rally in assist of President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Rylov stood on stage with medalists from different Olympic sports activities at the occasion final month and wore a jacket with a “Z” on the chest. The letter isn’t a part of the Russian alphabet however has turn into a logo of assist for Russian troops after it was used as a marker on Russian armored automobiles working in Ukraine.

A quick assertion from swimming’s world governing physique, FINA, on Thursday mentioned it “acknowledged” an earlier, as but unpublished ruling from a disciplinary panel to ban Rylov “following Mr. Rylov’s attendance and conduct at an event held at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.”

Rylov was the star of Russia’s swim crew on the Olympics in Tokyo final yr with two gold medals. His ban started on Wednesday and covers any worldwide competitors. The impact on Rylov is more likely to be largely symbolic since FINA additionally prolonged its choice to exclude opponents from Russia and its ally Belarus from all worldwide occasions for the rest of 2022. He additionally misplaced a sponsorship cope with Speedo final month.

FINA beforehand banned Russia and Belarus from the world championships in Hungary in June however left it doable for them to enter different occasions. At the time, FINA mentioned Russia deliberate to boycott all worldwide occasions anyway, one thing Russia denied. That place has now been clarified.

“The bureau also confirmed its position that Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials will not be invited to any FINA event through the end of 2022,” FINA mentioned on Thursday. FINA’s remit covers a spread of aquatic sports activities together with swimming, diving, water polo and creative swimming.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach indicated he backs disciplinary measures towards athletes corresponding to Rylov.

“The IOC president made it clear that the IOC supports sanctions against anybody in the Olympic community who is in support of the war, and continues to monitor the situation,” the IOC mentioned on Friday in an announcement on a gathering Bach held with Ukrainian sports activities officers.

The IOC has beforehand urged occasion organizers to bar Russian and Belarusian athletes and groups from their competitions, or, Bach mentioned final month “in special circumstances to at least prohibit any identification of their nationality.”

There has been no phrase of any disciplinary investigations towards the opposite Russian athletes from sports activities together with determine skating, gymnastics and snowboarding who additionally appeared on the March 18 rally.

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