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Russian, Belarusian Swimmers Banned from World Championships

Russian and Belarusian swimmers, divers, water polo players and artistic swimmers will no longer be able to compete in the upcoming world championships over the war in Ukraine, swimming’s governing body announced Wednesday.

Soon after the invasion, swimming’s governing body, FINA, said it would allow the swimmers to compete, but as neutral athletes who didn’t use national symbols.

“Following the review of an independent risk assessment, the FINA Bureau met today and confirmed that athletes and officials from Russia and Belarus will not take part (in the world championships),” FINA said.

“FINA maintains its strongest condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” it said in a press release.

The world championships will be held in Hungary in June.

In the last world championships held in 2019, Russia got the third most medals after the United States and China.

FINA also said it was investigating double Olympic backstroke champion Yevgeny Rylov over his alleged participation in a pro-Putin rally in Moscow last week.

Governing bodies for many sports, including soccer, track, gymnastics, skiing and ice skating, have taken measures to ban or restrict Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing.

Source: Voice of America