World Aquatics Suspension of Evengy Rylov Ends; “No Update” on Russia and Belarus

World Aquatics (formerly known as FINA) has confirmed that the 9-month suspension of Russian swimmer Evgeny Rylov has ended, but says there are “no updates” on the status of other Russian and Belarusian athletes in World Aquatics competition.

Rylov’s suspension officially expired on January 20, 2023, ending a 9-month period of ineligibility that was ultimately moot.

The double Olympic backstroke champion was suspended for his appearance on stage during a Vladimir Putin-hosted pro-war rally in Moscow in the early stages of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. World Aquatics had previously been one of the few international sporting organizations that didn’t suspend Russia or move their upcoming competitions out of the country, but after Rylov’s appearance, their hand was forced in both directions.

Rylov’s times, like those of other Russian athletes, were accepted by World Aquatics during the suspension. Any records they set will count, and their names will remain in the World Rankings. The World Aquatics ban didn’t also, by definition, extend to meets hosted by other umbrella organizations (like national championship meets), so in effect, the suspension held them out of the World Aquatics Championships in the summer and the World Short Course Swimming Championships in December.

Because the country of Russia was already banned from those competitions, Rylov’s additional individual suspension didn’t result in any real additional sanction.

During the ban, Rylov raced in three domestic meets. He ended the 2021-2022 season ranked 6th in the world in the long course 200 back (FINA’s official rankings oddly include some of his times but not others, though they did officially tell SwimSwam that his times would count if all FINA rules were followed in Russian meets). He also currently ranks #1 in the world in the current season in the short course 200 back.

When asked about an update on the status of Russian and Belarusian athletes more generally within World Aquatics, a FINA spokesperson sent the identical statement as when last asked:

At this time, there are no further updates regarding the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in World Aquatics competitions.”

That statement is ambiguous, and when SwimSwam asked for clarification, the organization chose not to clarify what that means.

FINA’s initial announcement of sanctions against Belarus and Russia said only that they were implementing a “non-invitation of Russian and Belarusian teams through the 19th FINA World Championships Budapest 2022.” No Russian or Belarusian athletes appeared at the 2022 World Short Course Swimming Championships either, though FINA never formally announced why that happened.

The next scheduled FINA event is the first leg of the World Aquatics Artistic Swimming World Cup, which will be held in Markham, Ontario, Canada from March 16-18. Canada so far has allowed Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete in sports in their country in most sports. Russian and Belarusian athletes competed in the Canadian Open in tennis, and visas were still issued for Russian and Belarusian players in the NHL. The Canadian Hockey League, a junior league in Canada, did block teams from selecting Russian and Belarusian athletes in its import draft last spring.

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1 month ago

War should’ve ended in April 2022, and all of this should’ve been a non-issue. A peace agreement had been drafted between Russia and Ukraine at that time, but the United States and Boris Johnson talked Zelensky out of it.

For the neocons and the collective West, this isn’t so much about the security of Ukraine, but about hammering Russia to force regime change in Moscow, which hasn’t worked. Economists are now predicting GDP growth for Russia in 2023.

Unfortunately, the world leaders of today really don’t care about people all that much. They’d much rather push an agenda, regardless of whether it’s effective, while costing the lives of hundreds of thousands of people + a humanitarian and economic… Read more »

Reply to  GTS
1 month ago

Who would be dumb enough to believe that Russia would abide to a treaty asking for a withdrawal to the pre-invasion line (against Ukraine’s commitment not to seek to join NATO) . Remember “We cannot negotiate with people who say what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is negotiable.”

Reply to  ooo
1 month ago

The agreement entailed Russia keeping all of the mostly Russian speaking Crimea and key parts of the heavily ethnic Russian Donbass, in exchange for Ukraine not becoming a NATO country. Russia does not want to take Kiev. They wanted to stop the murder of the approximate 14,000 ethnic Russians in the Donbass between 2014 -2022 after the CIA sponsored 2014 Maidan Revolution, and repeated violations of the Minsk agreements.

That said, all of this was preventable. Zelensky, who actually increased bombings in the Donbass after he took office in 2019, the collective West, and Moscow/Putin all failed. The fallout is unacceptable as it applies to the world stage. We’re just a few mistakes or a false flag op from… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by GTS
1 month ago

So long for SwimSwam’s “Rylov is a special case so we’re not ranking him” story

Tim OB
1 month ago


1 month ago

Braden, here’s an interesting question to ask USA Swimming: Athlete funding and National Team positions are based on World Rankings, so when calculating those, since World Aquatics is leaving Russian/Belorussian athletes in the rankings, is USA Swimming counting them or skipping them when calculating?

Example: Stanley Swimmer is ranked 7th in the world in an event and two other swimmers ranked ahead of him are Russians who are banned from international competition. So for the purposes of USA Swimming athlete funding, is he ranked 5th now or 7th?

Yams for me
1 month ago

Those at the top level of ‘AQUA’ rely on all their dodgy dealings (including those with Russia) to survive. No way they would ever take an ethical lead. They’ll even welcome a tyrant like Putin back into the swimming pool before long.

Berkoff / Rouse / Carey
1 month ago

Rylov / Russia!!!


America has led to 20-30 million being killed globally since the end of WWII.

Vietnam (based on lies)
Iraq 1
Iraq 2 (based on lies)
Others killed by american “interventions” (terrorism for profit) via bomb attacks, sabotage, attempted regime change
China, 45–46
Syria, 49
China, 50–53
Iran, 53
Guatemala, 54
Tibet, 55–70’s
Indonesia, 58
Cuba, 59
DP Congo, 60–65
Dominican R, 61
Brazil, 64
Guiana, 64
Guatemala, 64
Laos, 64–73
Dominican R, 65-66
Indonesia, 65
Peru, 65
Greece, 67
Guatemala, 67-69… Read more »

Reply to  Berkoff / Rouse / Carey
1 month ago

Finally! Truthful voice here…!

Reply to  Berkoff / Rouse / Carey
1 month ago

Blah, blah, blah. If you are so knowledgeable in the history of international politics you may tell us who opposed Western forces in all those conflicts. Soviet Union/Russia mostly. If not US and NATO there would be no Europe as it is now.
I’m not sure if you know anything about Soviet tanks in Budapest (1956) or in Prague (1968) or in Kabul (1979). Same in Africa, Middle East, Indochina, Latin America. Everywhere Russian brave soldiers and Russian weapons depended “the ideals of democracy and protected bright future of all people in the world”. I lived under such a daily propaganda for more than 30 years and whenever I am reading something like your post I am becoming nostalgic… Read more »

Reply to  Yozhik
1 month ago

Everyone is aware of the atrocities of the evil Soviet or Russian empire & their was a boycott in 1980 Olympics against their invasion of Afghanistan & also another ban on Russia in 2022 after their invasion of Ukraine..

What you fail to understand the poster above you is posting of another invader, because if you are talking of the Cold wars, yes Russia/Soviet was one, but there was another player here, because a war take 2, unless it’s a civil war.

Reply to  Berkoff / Rouse / Carey
1 month ago

Just because there’s a double standard doesn’t mean that there should be no standard at all. And Rylov did walk around, proudly wearing that Z.

1 month ago

What’s worse about Rylov is that he phoned in the season too. He’s perfectly willing to wear his gold medal, get on TV, and do whatever the regime wants him to do for that $. I’m not even sure he’s going to make a serious comeback.

That being said regardless of personal feelings, does anyone really expect world aquatics to keep up with extending this ban? They’re incompetent enough at their jobs as it is, additionally being the morality police just isn’t going to happen.

Reply to  IM FAN
1 month ago

let him back so murphy and the new kids will deal with him.

1 month ago

Ban Rylov for life. Russian criminal is supporting bloody war.

Reply to  Oleg
1 month ago

Every war is bloody dude.

Reply to  Carlo
1 month ago

so that makes it ok? derp

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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