Russian President Putin Calls FINA’s Ban of Evgeny Rylov “Absurd”

Russian President Vladimir Putin doesn’t see eye to eye with FINA in its decision to suspend Russian Olympic champion Evgeny Rylov.

According to a report by Reuters, Putin called the suspension “absurd” and added that Russian and Belarusian athletes are facing discrimination based on their nationality.

In mid-March, Rylov appeared at a pro-war rally hosted by Putin in Moscow, which immediately led to him losing his sponsorship deal with Speedo. Rylov then announced he was pulling out of the 2022 World Championships, which ended up being a symbolic move as FINA banned all Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing shortly thereafter.

On April 20, FINA handed Rylov a nine-month suspension from all of its sanctioned competitions and activities, noting that the ban was for “Mr. Rylov’s attendance and conduct at an event held at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on 18 March 2022.”

FINA also confirmed that Russian and Belarusian athletes would be barred from FINA events through the end of 2022.

In 2014, FINA awarded Putin with the “FINA Order”, recognizing his “important support in the organization of major FINA events on Russian soil, thus bringing additional development to the FINA disciplines and providing increased value to Aquatics within the Russian society and worldwide.”

The Order was then withdrawn on March 1, 2022, the week after Putin led the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Despite the ban from FINA, Rylov began competing at the Russian Swimming Championships in Kazan on Sunday, and while FINA said it was reviewing Rylov’s participation at the meet earlier his week, the 25-year-old has been in action over the first half of the competition.

Rylov won two Olympic gold medalists last summer at the Tokyo Games, sweeping the men’s 100 and 200 backstroke events.

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Reallswimmer
6 months ago

It’s okay to disagree with Putin, but the athletes shouldn’t be punished. They did nothing wrong. They didn’t hurt anyone. They worked thier entire lives, they deserve a chance at the big stage too. Politics should never be involved in sports. Don’t call yourself a world champ unless everyone in the world is there.

Slavic
Reply to  Reallswimmer
6 months ago

Actually, retired athletes that are being sent to Ukraine to kill people. So just because you’re athlete now doesn’t mean you’ll live too our life without fulfilling military orders to kill in the future. Banning athletes is the right thing to do.

Reallswimmer
6 months ago

It’s okay to disagree with Putin, but the athletes shouldn’t be punished. They did nothing wrong. They didn’t hurt anyone. They worked thier entire lives, they deserve a chance at the big stage too. Politics should never be involved in sports. Don’t call yourself a world champ unless everyone in the world is there.

justanopinion
6 months ago

“Russian warship….go [email protected]!# yourself” Nobody gives a damn what you say anymore Putey…

Eisenheim
6 months ago

Riluv made his bed. He sure lost his a$$ on that Speedo deal. Love it!

jdsmitty1
6 months ago

ok vlad

Yozhik
6 months ago

Putin..Rylov… You people are naïve and don’t understand what you are dealing with.
Whoever is watching Russian National swimming championships that is going now and understand Russian language will hear that the leitmotif at all discussions and interviews is the following:
Russian swimming national team is united as never before. Rylov is Russian Olympic hero and reference to him is made not by his last name Rylov and not by his full first name Evgeniy, but by his fond name Zhenya like he is beloved son or closest friend. And everybody know who this Zhenya is. No mentioning about war or FINA ban at all. No mentioning even about “local special military operation in Ukraine”. Just “we have… Read more »

JT234
6 months ago

Good riddance. Not a single athlete that trains in Russia should be allowed to compete internationally anyways. And with respect to Putin, the day he dies the world will be a better place. Hope that day is soon

SwagSwam
Reply to  JT234
6 months ago

why should the athletes… not talking about Rylov… but the other athletes be at fault for what their president is doing? how can they be held responsible for an irresponsible man’s decision making? it’s completely unfair

JT234
Reply to  SwagSwam
6 months ago

I don’t think any Russians should be allowed to compete irrespective of the war because their country has had a state sponsored doping scheme that they never were truly punished for and that I don’t believe for a second has stopped

Joel Lin
6 months ago

Good riddance to the entire Russian Federation. There are some Russian athletes who have settled elsewhere, some are current NCAA athletes, and they deserve no negatives by association. Rylov? Good riddance, full stop.

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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