Russian gold medallist Evgeny Rylov has been suspend for 9-months by the Swimming’s world governing body FINA, for attending a rally in Moscow hosted by President Vladimir Putin, in support of Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine.

Rylov, the reigning Olympic 100 and 200 metres backstroke Champion, was among other athletes who attended this massive event, wearing the letter “Z” on their outfit, an identifying symbol used by supporters of what Russia calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine.

FINA has this to say in their statement carried by swimming website SwimSwam: “The FINA Bureau met today and acknowledged the decision of the FINA Disciplinary Panel to suspend Evgeny Rylov (RUS) from all competitions and activities organized or sanctioned by FINA, including any International Competition on the FINA World Aquatic Calendar, for a period of nine months, following Mr. Rylov’s attendance and conduct at an event held at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on 8 March 2022. Mr. Rylov’s suspension took effect on 20 April 2022.”

This has costed Rylov his partnership with a swimwear maker Speedo, which terminated its sponsorship with the swimmer.

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