Russian Swimming President Salnikov Comments on FINA Working Conditions

by Noelle Theodoulou 5

August 26th, 2022 Asia, International, News

As the Russia-Ukraine war rages on, FINA continues to uphold policies that oppose Russia’s campaign and punish Russian sympathizers.

With the state of international politics, tension between FINA and the President of the All-Russian Swimming Federation, Vladimir Salnikov, would seem likely. However, Salnikov says otherwise. 

“I did not feel any aggression,” Salnikov shared. “Many meetings were held online, and I did not feel any tension in connection with my participation.”

Salnikov attended the Extraordinary Congress on June 19th at the World Championships in Budapest, as well as a separate FINA Bureau meeting. While Salnikov felt at ease at the FINA Congress, he does not feel the same at LEN.

“I can’t say anything about the European Swimming League,” Salnikov said. “Connections were interrupted there, but I think they will resume when the time comes.”

Salnikov recounted FINA President Husain Al-Musallam’s promise to consider Russian candidates for technical committees once the international situation calms down. Salnikov remains hopeful that FINA and LEN committees will soon invite more Russian participation. 

On June 29th, new members of the FINA Athletes Committee were announced. A Russian diver, Maria Polyakova, was voted in by the athletes themselves. A Ukrainian artistic swimmer, Anhelina Ovchynnikova, was also added to the committee. The purpose of this committee is to ensure that all voices are heard and that there is equal representation in aquatic sports.

Within the FINA Technical Diving Committee, Ukrainian Anna Sorokina was added as a member of the Events Subcommittee in July.

There are five Ukrainian members of certain LEN Technical Committees.

  • Sergiy Lyzak – Technical Swimming Committee member
  • Anna Sorokina – Technical Diving Committee Vice Chair
  • Anastasiya Petrenko – Technical Artistic Swimming Committee member
  • Oleksiy Yesypenko – Technical Open Water Swimming Committee member
  • Andrii Govorov – Athletes Committee member

Nine Russian members remain in the LEN committees and are not subject to change until 2024.

European Aquatics (LEN) President Antonio da Silva has prioritized measures that aim to protect Ukraine Swimming, Diving, and Artistic Swimming Federations, launching a Solidarity Program to provide Ukraine with financial assistance. He also banned Russian and Belarusian athletes from European competitions before FINA issued its ban.

About six months have passed since the initial Russian assault on Ukraine began in February.

On Aug. 24, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky celebrated 31 years of Ukraine’s independence from the fallen Soviet Union. Zelensky’s patriotism compelled national leaders to offer more military aid to Ukraine to combat Russian invasions. 

But so much damage has been done and major concerns remain for the future. The World Health Organization (WHO) warned that Ukraine’s healthcare system is “preparing for a challenging winter ahead,” after Russia launched hundreds of attacks on Ukraine’s healthcare facilities.

In March, FINA denounced Russia’s invasion and promised to support the Ukrainian aquatics community. Initially, FINA allowed Russian athletes to compete as neutral participants who did not bear their country’s symbols. But two weeks later, FINA chose to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing at the 2022 Budapest World Championships. 

At that time, FINA even pursued a disciplinary case against Tokyo 2020 Olympic gold medalist Evgeny Rylov, who expressed support for Russian forces at a rally in Moscow. FINA issued him a 9-month suspension from all FINA-sanctioned competitions and activities beginning in April.

FINA also replaced Kazan as the host for the 2022 World Short Course Swimming Championships with Melbourne.

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Paul
2 months ago

International situation will never calm down.

Verram
3 months ago

Can’t believe Swimswam is being paid to post Russian propaganda

Go Kamminga Go
Reply to  Verram
2 months ago

Swimswam makes money on clicks.

Controversial article = more clicks

BearlyBreathing
3 months ago

>once the international situation calms down
How many dead Ukrainians does that involve?

Go Kamminga Go
Reply to  BearlyBreathing
2 months ago

Putin= not enough