Russian Swim Coach Alexander Ilyin Detained For Refusing To Wear Mask

Russian swim coach Alexander Ilyin was detained at the Pulkovo airport in Saint Petersburg in late November for refusing to wear a mask, multiple local media outlets reported.

Ilyin was with one of his swimmers, 2018 European champion Vitalina Simonova, who captured the incident and posted it on social media, confirming that Ilyin refused to wear a mask and was handcuffed by security.

Ilyin, 62, claims that he declined to wear a mask due to respiratory issues he developed after having COVID-19 one year ago, saying he “physically cannot be in a mask,” due to shortness of breath and the “panic” that feeling gives him. He says he was requesting a respirator instead.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Vitalina Simonova (@vita_simonova)


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Vitalina Simonova (@vita_simonova)


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Vitalina Simonova (@vita_simonova)

Ilyin maintains that he didn’t break any laws, and that wearing a mask is a “recommendation.”

After being taken to court under Article 19.3 of the Administrative Code (disobedience of police), he refused to wear a mask again and the session was postponed.

Simonova said that her phone was seized after she recorded the incident, and was charged under Article 319 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation for insulting a representative of the authorities, and also issued a recognizance not to leave.

All-Russian Swimming Federation head Vladimir Salnikov reportedly said he’s looking into the arrest, noting that he’ll make an “appropriate statement,” after an investigation.

Ilyin and Simonova were about to fly home to Novosibirsk, having competed at the Russian SC Championships in Saint Petersburg from November 16-21.

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Corn Pop
1 month ago

Some fights you are just not going to win .

1 month ago

Two things about the second video:

  1. When arguing with the police, he seemed to have no shortness of breath.
  2. I bet Arena loved how prominently their logo was shown on the backpack.
Corn Pop
Reply to  MarkB
1 month ago

These police look fit .

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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