Russian swimmer Evgeny Rylov has been banned by FINA for nine months after he attended a war rally led by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Rylov is a two-time Olympic champion who won the men's 100 metres and 200m backstroke titles at the Tokyo Games but will now be ineligible to compete until 19th January 2023. Due to the fact that FINA already confirmed Russian and Belarusian athletes will not be competing at events throughout 2022 Rylov is essentially banned for 19 extra days.
FINA launched the investigation into Rylov’s attendance as he was “bringing aquatic sports into disrepute.” Rylov’s sponsor Speedo also ended their sponsorship deal with the Olympic champion because of his support for the war in Ukraine.
Ukrainian swimmer Andriy Govorov said that seeing Rylov in attendance was “heart-breaking” as he considers him a close friend. Others in attendance at the rally included gymnast Ivan Kuliak who wore the “Z” mark on the podium at the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup in Doha with other prominent Russian athletes from figure-skating and skiing also being present.