Russians, Belarusians allowed back into swimming events

Russians, Belarusians allowed back into swimming events
Source: Pixabay

Russian and Belarusian swimmers will be permitted to take part in international competitions as neutrals following a decision by World Aquatics, the global swimming federation, to lift the current ban.

The swimmers had been excluded from competition since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine 18 months ago.

“Following extensive consultation and deliberations”, World Aquatics decided “unanimously” on a set of criteria allowing Russian and Belarusian athletes to “participate in future World Aquatics competitions as neutral individual athletes”, the federation said in a statement.

This position is consistent with the IOC’s recommendation, made in the spring, to reintegrate Russians and Belarusians into world sport under certain conditions, including that of the neutral flag, and as long as the athletes have not actively supported the war in Ukraine.

Under the new guidelines, swimmers from the two countries will only be able to participate in individual events, with a maximum of one swimmer from each country per event, and will not be authorised to speak to the media.

The body said 67 percent of international athletes would support the reintegration of Russians and Belarusians who respect the established conditions.

Since the IOC made clear its position, several international federations — fencing, gymnastics, archery, judo, climbing and badminton — have decided to reintegrate athletes from the two countries, enabling them to chase qualification for next year’s Olympics in Paris.


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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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