(Reuters) – Swimming’s world governing body FINA said on Monday it has launched an internal review after Russian swimmer Evgeny Rylov competed at the national championships while serving a ban for attending a rally in support of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Rylov, who won gold in the 100m and 200m metres backstroke events at last year’s Tokyo Olympics, was among several athletes who attended a massive rally at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow last month hosted by president Vladimir Putin.
FINA last week suspended Rylov for nine months for attending the rally. Russian and Belarusian athletes are also banned from competing at the federation’s events for the remainder of 2022.
Rylov, 25, 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. Belarus is a key staging area for the invasion.
“FINA is aware that Mr Rylov competed in the Russian Championships this weekend and has launched an internal review to ascertain whether FINA sanctions or rules have been broken,” the governing body said in a statement.
“The outcome of this review will be announced in due course.”
Rylov finished third in the 100m backstroke earlier on Monday at the national championships, which began on Sunday in Kazan and run until Friday.
According to the entry lists on the All-Russian Swimming Federation’s website, Rylov is set to compete in the 50m and 200m backstroke as well as the 100m freestyle later this week.
(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)