Evgeny Rylov Opts Not To Appeal Nine-Month FINA Suspension

Two-time Russian Olympic gold medalist Evgeny Rylov will not appeal the suspension handed to him by FINA last month.

Rylov was suspended for nine months by the international governing body for aquatic sports after he attended a pro-war rally in Russia in mid-March.

The 25-year-old four-time Olympic medalist informed TASS, Russia’s official state news agency, of his decision on Wednesday.

“I decided not to file an appeal, as the process could drag on for a long time,” Rylov said.

FINA implemented Rylov’s ban on April 20, meaning his suspension will be in effect through January 20, 2023.

FINA has also banned any Russian or Belarusian athletes from competing in any of its events through the end of 2022, so appealing didn’t make much logical sense for Rylov given that, as it stands now, he is only banned from competing less than three weeks longer than he would be if he wasn’t individually suspended at all.

He acknowledged as much in an extended interview with TASS.

Despite the competition ban from FINA, Rylov was in action in late April at the Russian National Championships in Kazan. After an investigation into the matter, FINA deemed this was not in violation of the suspension.

In his TASS interview, Rylov also spoke on why he continued to race in a Speedo suit at the Russian Championships despite the company ending its sponsorship deal with him after his appearance at the rally.

“Many have asked why I continue to use Speedo, but I don’t resent them,” Rylov said, via translation. “They take water to the offended, but I don’t like to carry water, I like to swim in it. I don’t get too excited about this.”

He goes on to say that if he were to set a world record in a Speedo, he would consider not applying to have it ratified.

“The only thing is, if I manage to set a world record in Speedo, I’ll think about whether to count it or not. Manufacturers indicate the barcode of the suit in which the world record is set, the same applies to victories at the Olympics. For them, this is advertising, and now it is expensive.”

He noted that he believes it’s possible to set a world record this year, but remains unsure whether it would be recognized by FINA given his suspension.

Rylov is scheduled to race at the Commonwealth Cup and the Spartakiad in Russia later this year. He also noted that he’s ineligible to race at the Salnikov Cup, scheduled for December 24-27, because it’s on the FINA calendar. However, given that Russians are banned from FINA competitions until the end of 2022, all Russian swimmers wouldn’t be able to race at the Salnikov Cup if it is indeed a FINA event this year.

Rylov was the Olympic champion in both the men’s 100 and 200 backstroke at the Tokyo 2020 Games last year, and added a silver medal as a member of the Russian Olympic Committee’s (ROC’s) men’s 800 free relay.

He also won bronze in the 200 back at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, and has won the last two consecutive World Championship titles in the 200 back.

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tea rex
4 months ago

Ban Russia until all Ukrainian swimmers’ homes and facilities are rebuilt.

Reply to  tea rex
4 months ago

Russian athletes didn’t destroy Ukrainian swimmers’ homes and facilities
banning Russia does nothing to rebuild Ukrainian swimmers’ homes and facilities
by banning Russia, what are you doing besides harming innocent athletes and patting yourself on the back for pretending to help?

4 months ago

Of course he isn’t appealing, all it would have done is further highlight what he so disgracefully did.

Reply to  Dee
4 months ago

If he really felt what he did is disgraceful, then it’s not that bad. Unfortunatelly, he’s most likely just minimizing the loss on his career.

4 months ago

I wonder what record he thinks he could break.

Sun Yangs Hammer
4 months ago

Sun Yang would have appealed ✊😤

Reply to  Sun Yangs Hammer
4 months ago

I’m not sure if it was even his personal decision. I assume that appealing process isn’t free and not seeing any political benefits they decided to not waste money.

Reply to  Yozhik
4 months ago

Minimum cost to appeal to the CAS is 1000 CHF.

Then there are different schedules of administrative costs depending on the nature of the case. Not sure how they ‘value’ something like ‘allowing him to swim,’ so it’s hard to guess what that might be. Plus legal representation on his behalf.


They don’t publish costs in the decisions publicly, so it’s hard to base it on that either. But, I do think the costs can add up, especially if the case becomes more complex.

(A Swiss Frank is almost exactly the same value as a dollar today – its value has gone way up because of Russia/Ukraine).

4 months ago

Funny that an appeal was even considered given the whole country ban.

Reply to  Troyy
4 months ago

Yeah I mean, maybe that’s what they’re not saying about why they didn’t appeal.

Though, there’s still some glimmer of a chance that the CAS overturns the ban(s). Salnikov seems to be more sober about it than many of his peers are, on the other hand, so maybe he’s just given up.

Reply to  Braden Keith
4 months ago

In fact – TASS is saying that’s the primary reason for no appeal.

JP input is too short
4 months ago

Probably a good idea for him… he certainly isn’t getting out of all of it, so this probably gets him back in the international competition pool fastest.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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