Apr 22, 2022 - Sports

Russian swimmer banned from competition after attending pro-Putin rally

Evgeny Rylov of Team ROC poses with the gold medal during the medal ceremony for the Men's 100m Backstroke Final on day four of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Russian Olympic gold medalist swimmer Evgeny Rylov has been banned from competition for nine months after appearing at a rally in support of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Driving the news: FINA, swimming's international governing body, said in a statement Thursday that Rylov was suspended "from all competitions and activities organized or sanctioned by FINA" for nine months.

The big picture: Rylov, who won two gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics last year, appeared alongside other Russian athletes at the pro-Putin rally at Luzhniki Stadium in March, according to the AP.

  • Rylov wore a jacket with a "Z" on the chest at the event — a symbol of support for Russian troops and the invasion of Ukraine.
  • His suspension is largely symbolic because no athletes or officials from Russia or Belarus will be invited to any FINA event through the end of 2022.
  • FINA had previously banned the Russian and Belarusian teams from competing at the 2022 world championships in Budapest.

Go deeper: Sports world leads Russia boycotts after Ukraine invasion

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