FINA suspends Olympic champion Rylov for nine months at Putin Rally

FINA of the Swimming Federation said on Friday that Russia’s Olympic gold medalist Evgeny Rylov had been suspended for nine months after attending a rally to support Russia’s military operations in Ukraine.

Rilov, who won the gold medal at the 100-meter and 200-meter backstroke events at the Tokyo Olympics last year, was one of several athletes who attended a large rally at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow last month hosted by President Vladimir Putin. bottom.

Rylov and other athletes wore the letter “Z” in their clothes, an identification symbol used by supporters of what Russia calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine.

FINA said the suspension had come “following Mr. Rylov’s attendance and action at an event held at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.”

Lilov, who lost his sponsorship deal with swimwear maker Speedo in his rally presence, told Sport Express that lawyers are considering the case, but it’s still unclear if they will appeal to his suspension. It is unknown.

The Kremlin said FINA’s decision indicates “politicalization of sports.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in a conference call, “I believe this is completely against the idea of ​​sports.” “If the strongest (competitors) lose the opportunity to participate, this will ultimately harm the League of Nations and international competition.”

Russian sports minister Oleg Matytsin was quoted by TASS as the suspension of Rylov was “discriminatory and political”.

Stanislav Pozdnyakov, chairman of the Russian Olympic Commission, called it a case of discrimination based on nationality.

“It’s not embarrassing to stop an athlete for nine months to attend a concert. It’s a joke,” Pozdnyakov wrote in the Telegram Messenger app.

FINA has already canceled all upcoming events in Russia and prohibits Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from participating in the competition until the end of the year.