The Ukrainian Swimming Federation released a statement on Wednesday calling on FINA to ban athletes, teams, and officials from Russia and Belarus from FINA competitions. The statement also supports FINA’s decision to not hold international competitions in Russia and Belarus.
The statement, signed by Andrii Vlaskov, President of the Ukrainian Swimming Federation, also welcomes the decision to strip Vladamir Putin of his FINA Order.
According to the statement, “Participation even in a neutral status those teams and athletes will be able to receive financial support and prize money from their governments and FINA, which in fact discriminates Ukrainian athletes deprived of possibility and conditions to prepare themselves for the FINA World Championship 2022 in Budapest.”
The statement continues, “Due to the Russian invasion and high threat to the life of our athletes and coaches during their transportation to the western border through the territory of Ukraine, our athletes and coaches cannot take the advantage of invitations from many FINA member federations to stay and train temporarily in those countries.”
As of this article’s publication, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, 9 Nordic Nations, and Ukraine have all made public statements about not attending meets in Russia as a result of the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Ukrainian Swimming Federation’s statement from Wednesday is the first to call on FINA to take a stance against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began last week. The 2022 Short Course World Championships and the 2024 European Championships are still slated to take place in Kazan, Russia.
The International Olympic Committee last week urged all international sports federations to pull events from Russia and Belarus, though they stopped short of asking for suspensions of athletes, which is what the statement from Ukraine is requesting.
Also on Wednesday, the Ukrainian National Swimming Team coach, Aiyna Morozova, was rescued after spending two-hours trapped under rubble post-missile attack.