Russian Olympic swimming champion Evgeny Rylov suspended for nine months for attending Putin rally

Rylov won 100m and 200m backstroke gold at last year’s Tokyo Olympics but has been banned after his attendance at the rally in support of Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine

Reuters Staff
Friday 22 April 2022 09:41 BST
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Evgeny Rylov won 100m and 200m backstroke gold at last year’s Tokyo Olympics
Evgeny Rylov won 100m and 200m backstroke gold at last year’s Tokyo Olympics (AP)

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Russian Olympic gold medallist Evgeny Rylov has been suspended for nine months after he attended a rally in Moscow in support of Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine, swimming’s world governing body FINA announced on Friday.

Rylov, who won gold in 100m and 200m backstroke events at last year’s Tokyo Olympics, was among several athletes who attended a massive rally at Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium last month hosted by President Vladimir Putin.

Rylov and other athletes wore the letter “Z” on their outfit, an identifying symbol used by supporters of what Russia calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine.

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

There was no immediate reaction from Rylov, who also lost his sponsorship deal with swimwear maker Speedo over his presence at the rally.

FINA has already cancelled all its events that were set to take place in Russia and has barred Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from taking part in its competitions until the end of the year.

Reuters

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