Andrei Minakov, one of the most accomplished Russian swimmers over the past three years, is expected to return to his home country to compete later this summer.
Minakov, who is currently racing at U.S. Summer Nationals in Irvine, California, missed Russia’s recently-concluded Solidarity Games in Kazan, but is expected to attend next month’s Spartakiad in St. Petersburg, according to All-Russian Swimming Federation President Vladimir Salnikov.
Salnikov also said that three-time Olympic medalist Yuliya Efimova won’t compete for the remainder of the season.
Efimova, 30, told Match TV she was contemplating her future earlier this month, and that it largely depended on whether Russia’s sanctions from competing internationally were lifted.
The Solidarity Games and the Spartakiad are events organized by Russia to supplement them being barred from competing at major international events, including last month’s World Championships, as a result of the country’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
Russia’s World Championship ban came after swimmer Evgeny Rylov appeared at a pro-war propaganda event.
The ensuing war has resulted in at least 5,230 civilian deaths according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and has displaced millions of people.
The Spartakiad is a multi-sport event that has been contested 10 times in the summer, from 1956 until 1991, and seven times in the winter (1962-90), between the constituent entities of the now-former Soviet Union.
The event is currently scheduled for August 21-26 at St. Petersburg’s Water Sports Center (Nevskaya Volna).
Minakov, the 2019 World Championship silver medalist in the men’s 100 butterfly, is entering his junior year at Stanford University in the NCAA, having won the 100 fly last season. Despite having only raced for the Cardinal for one season, Minakov will technically be a junior academically in 2022-23, but has three seasons of eligibility remaining.
He sat out of both the Russian Championships in April and the Solidarity Games earlier this month. If he is at the Spartakiad in late August, he will be due to be back at Stanford for the 2022-23 season in September.
On Tuesday, Minakov finished 12th in the men’s 100 freestyle in a time of 49.26. He was also entered to race the 200 free on Wednesday morning but was a no-show.