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FINA opens disciplinary proceedings against Russia’s two-time Olympic Champion Rylov

On March 1, FINA announced that it allowed Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in international competitions under a neutral status

MOSCOW, March 23. /TASS/. A Disciplinary Panel of the world’s governing body of swimming, FINA, initiated a probe against Russia’s two-time Olympic Champion Yevgeny Rylov, the world’s federation body said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The FINA Executive confirmed that the FINA Disciplinary Panel has opened a procedure against Russian swimmer Yevgeny Rylov for a potential violation of the FINA rules following his alleged participation in a pro-war rally at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow," the statement reads. "The FINA Executive has requested that the Panel’s proceedings be expedited."

Russia’s 25-year-old swimmer Rylov won two gold medals (in men’s 100-meter backstroke and in 200-meter backstroke events) as well as a silver medal in men’s 4x200-meter freestyle event at the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo. He is also the two-time world champion in 200-meter backstroke competitions at the FINA World Championships in 2017 (Budapest) and in 2019 (Gwangju).

In an interview with Russia’s sports daily Sport-Express, Rylov said he deemed as "a very strange" FINA’s disciplinary case launched against him.

"To be honest, I am very surprised that a disciplinary action was opened in my regard; it’s an unpleasant situation and we must deal with it," he continued.

"Perhaps, I need now to come up to arguments with FINA, filing a written protest, explaining and proving something to them," he said. "The whole world and FINA decided that I had no right of attending a concert event in the capital of my country - this is insane!"

"I believe that they have opened a very queer disciplinary case," Rylov said.

Earlier in the day, FINA’s press office announced in a statement that all Russian and Belarusian swimmers had been excluded from participating in the upcoming FINA tournaments.

"Further to the FINA Bureau’s decision on 8 March 2022 and the new measures at its disposal to exclude Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from FINA competitions, and 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 upcoming 19th FINA World Championships Budapest 2022," the statement reads.

On March 1, FINA announced that it allowed Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in international competitions under a neutral status.

Earlier, FINA cancelled the 2021 World Junior Swimming Championships, which were going to be held in Russia’s Kazan from August 23 to 28, 2022, as well as the stages of the World Series of synchronized swimming and diving in Kazan.

The FINA Men's Water Polo World League men's tournament between Russia and Greece was cancelled in St. Petersburg on March 8. In 2022, Kazan planned to host the FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships (December 17-22).