Lausanne (Switzerland), March 23 After Olympic champion Evgeny Rylov announced his withdrawal from the 2022 World Championships in Budapest, FINA, the world body of swimming sport, officially announced on Wednesday that all Russian and Belarusian athletes would be banned from the competition.

FINA said the decision came after the Bureau met on Wednesday following the conclusion of an independent risk assessment. Earlier, the world body of sport had previously resisted implementing a full ban on Russian athletes and instead said it would evaluate participation on a case-by-case basis.

“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 organization said in a statement.

Kilment Kolesnikov (photo: Jack Spitser)

FINA said that the Russian Swimming Federation informed them that all Russian aquatics athletes would withdraw from all FINA events for the rest of 2022 after learning of this decision.

Rylov, who announced that he would not compete at the World Championships earlier Wednesday morning in support of other Russian athletes who have been banned from competing, was seen at a pro-war rally last week, resulting in him losing his sponsorship deal with Speedo.

FINA added that its Disciplinary Panel is looking into Rylov for a potential violation of FINA rules.

“Separately, the FINA Executive confirmed that the FINA Disciplinary Panel has opened a procedure against Russian swimmer Evgeny 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 organizaiton was quoted as saying by swimswam.com.

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