Russian has withdrawn its athletes from the upcoming European Junior Open Water Swimming Championships that are schedule from July 23rd to 25th in Paris, France.
Update: organizers say that Ukraine and Turkey have both withdrawn as well.
The event will take place in the Choisy-le-Roi rowing basin in the suburbs of the city.
According to the All-Russia Swimming Federation, they received a letter on July 9 informing that all athletes from countries in the “red” or “orange” zones of the coronavirus pandemic would have to arrive in Paris 10 days before the start of the event under strict quarantine, without access to training, prior to joining the broader bubble.
“I want to support our juniors who were preparing to compete in Paris at the European Open Water Swimming Championships,” said All-Russia Swimming Federation president Vladimir Salnikov. “Unfortunately, the organizers informed us of the changes that are applied to the participants according to the epidemiological situation, which made it impossible for our athletes to travel to the competition.
“For every athlete, performance at the international start, especially of this level, is an indicator of their preparation, but I am sure that the work done will not be in vain and at the stage of the Russian Open Water Swimming Cup in the Penza Region in August they will be able to show good speed. Unfortunately, the imposed restrictions really complicate our sports life, but I hope that we can overcome this and treat this situation with understanding.”
The European Union has instituted a color system to determine restrictions on travel within the region. The system is based on the number of cases within an area (which sometimes includes a whole country, or is sometimes subdivided) as well as the test-positivity rate.
Russia is in the midst of a spike of new cases of coronavirus, averaging almost 25,000 cases per day over the last week. That’s a rate of approximately 17 cases per 100,000 residents.
Notably, Spain, which is undergoing a substantially larger spike in cases than Russia, announced a team of 11 swimmers for the European Junior Open Water Championships, even 4 days after Russia says they received notification of the new requirements.
Spain has seen an even-more-dramatic rise in cases than Russia. Their latest 7 day average is almost 22,000 cases, or 47 cases per 100,000 residents. But organizers say they are not in the restricted “Red Zone,” though parts of the country are listed as such on the European Union website.