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International Swimming Federation Lifts Ban on Russian and Belarusian Swimmers: Compete under Neutral Flag

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The International Swimming Federation Lifts Ban on Russian and Belarusian Swimmers

The International Swimming Federation (FINA) made an announcement on Tuesday, stating that it has lifted the ban on Russian and Belarusian swimmers. This decision allows them to compete in international swimming competitions once again, albeit under a neutral flag.

Suspension Due to Russian Military Operation

Since February 2022, athletes from Russia and Belarus have been suspended from participating in international swimming competitions. This suspension was a result of the Russian military operation in Ukraine.

FINA Adopts New Standards

FINA announced that it has unanimously adopted a set of standards for Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in future world aquatics competitions as neutral athletes. This decision aligns with the recommendation made by the International Olympic Committee last spring.

New Guidelines for Competing Swimmers

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Under the new guidelines, swimmers from Russia and Belarus will only be allowed to compete in individual events. Each country can have a maximum of one swimmer per event, and these athletes will not be permitted to communicate with the media.

Support from International Athletes

According to FINA, 67 percent of international athletes support the return of Russian and Belarusian swimmers to international competitions, as long as they adhere to the current conditions.

Respect for Athletes Regardless of Nationality

Hussein Al-Musallam, President of the Kuwait International Swimming Federation, emphasized that his federation respects athletes regardless of their affiliation and nationality. He stated that creating a fair and inclusive competitive environment for all participants is their responsibility.

International Federations Following Suit

Following the International Olympic Committee’s clarification on the eligibility of Russian and Belarusian athletes, many international federations, including fencing, gymnastics, shooting, judo, rock climbing, and badminton, have decided to allow athletes from these countries to participate in their international tournaments. This will also enable them to compete in the qualifying competitions for the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris.

Source: agencies

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