The International Swimming Federation (FINA) decided Wednesday, after much hesitation, that Russian and Belarusian athletes will be banned from all FINA events – including the world championships in Budapest in June. FINA was previously one of the more “permissive” sports organizations, allowing athletes from Russia and Belarus to compete in neutral colors. Germany and Switzerland earlier announced they would not participate in the World Swimming Championships if Russian and Belarusian athletes were allowed to compete.
This article was originally published on our sister-site, Ungarn Heute.
The federation made the decision in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Until now, athletes from the two nations could compete under neutral flags, a move criticized by many nations.
According to the FINA statement published on Wednesday, the Russian federation immediately declared that none of their athletes will participate in FINA events this year. It was also decided that a new venue must be found for this year’s short course swimming world championships, which were originally scheduled to be held in Kazan, Russia. Talks with potential new hosts are underway, FINA announced.
Sources: 24.hu, RP Online
Featured image via Russia’s Yuliya Yefimova in the women’s 100m breaststroke final at the only European stop of FINA at the Duna Arena in Budapest, May 12, 2019. Photo by Tibor Illyés/MTI