Russian swimming legend and two time Olympics gold medallist Evgeny Rylov has decided to withraw himself from participating at the upcoming Swimming World Championships in Budapest this year, to show support for his country’s athletes as well as Paralympians who are facing suspesion from all international sports bodies in the wake of the war between Russia and Ukraine.
The sport cannot move without worthy competitors: Evgeny Rylov
Along with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and several other governing bodies who have been banning Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing in events under the two countries’ flags, swimming‘s global governing body FINA recently took a similar stance and ruled that the swimmers from the two countries will only be eligible to compete as neutral athletes or teams.
Meanwhile, Evgeny Rylov took to Instagram to show his support towards his compatriots, and stated that he will not participate in the upcomijg World Championships, set to take place from 18th June to 3rd July in Budapest, Hungary.
“In support of the Russian Paralympic athletes, in support of all Russian athletes who have been suspended from international competition, I refuse to go to the 2022 World Championships this summer,” Rylov wrote on Instagram.
“I believe that losing competition, the development of sports is lost. No matter how sad it may sound, but the sport cannot move without worthy competitors. Conclusions should be made by the federations about the direction in which they want to develop sports and whether Pierre de Coubertin wanted to see when he initiated the organization of the Olympic Games, which were supposed to unite people,” the 25-year-old added.
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Rylov, who was seen attending a rally hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin in the capital city of Moscow last week, subsequently lost his sponsorship deal with swimwear maker Speedo. Hailing from Novotroitsk, thw swimmer clinched his first Olympic medal in Rio 2016, winning a bronze in the 200m backstroke event under the Russian flag. Representing the ROC at the Tokyo Olympics last year, Rynov won gold in both 100m and 200m backstroke events, as well as a silver in the 4×200 m freestyle event.
- Russian Olympic swimmer Evgeny Pylov has pulled out of the upcoming Swimming World Championships in support of Russian athletes and Paralympians who are facing suspension from international events