A few hours after releasing a statement expressing “deep concern,” FINA has pulled its next two international aquatics competititons from Russia.
FINA says that after consultation with “many athletes, in addition to National Federations and concerned members of the FINA Family,” the organization has decided to pull a Men’s Water Polo World League and Artistic Swimming & Diving World Series events from Russia.
A FINA Men’s Water Polo World League game between Russia and Greece will no longer take place as scheduled in St. Petersburg on March 8, FINA said. They also canceled the combined FINA Artistic Swimming (synchronized swimming) and Diving World Series stops in Kazan.
FINA says that “where alternative arrangements can be made for these events, they will be communicated as soon as possible.”
Without naming any events specifically, FINA said that “Other FINA events that are scheduled in Russia for later in the year are under close review, with FINA monitoring events in Ukraine very carefully.”
The two big ones are the upcoming World Junior Swimming Championships, which are scheduled in Kazan from August 23-28, and the World Short Course Swimming Championships, which are scheduled in Kazan from December 17-22.
More from FINA:
“While continuing to hold the view that sport should remain politically neutral, FINA condemns all acts of aggression and is extremely concerned by the escalation of conflict in Ukraine.
All athletes, including those preparing for the 19th FINA World Championships Budapest 2022, deserve to feel safe in their training and competitive environment, and importantly, to be heard.
FINA pledges to provide whatever practical support it can give to any member of our Aquatic family impacted by this situation.”
The IOC, which resisted calls to pull the Winter 2022 Olympics from Beijing, China, has made the surprising move to cancel events currently scheduled to be held in Russia and Belarus amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Many other international sporting federations have pulled competitions from Russia. In aquatics, that includes LEN, the European governing body, which say they will move a leg of a Women’s Water Polo Euro League match out of Russia. The most impactful moves so far are the Formula 1 Russia Grand Prix and the 2022 European Champions League final, which were both supposed to be in Russia. Several other federations, including skiing, have canceled events in Russia.