Russian and Belarusian athletes will be allowed to take part in FINA’s competitions only as neutral athletes or neutral teams, FINA announced today.
“With Russian aggression continuing in Ukraine, the FINA Bureau has today made further decisions:
The FINA Order awarded to Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2014 has been withdrawn.
Until further notice, no athlete or Aquatics official from Russia or Belarus be allowed to take part under the name of Russia or Belarus. Russian or Belarusian nationals, be it as individuals or teams, should be accepted only as neutral athletes or neutral teams. No national symbols, colours, flags should be displayed or anthems should be played, in international Aquatics events which are not already part of the respective World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) sanctions for Russia.
FINA remains deeply concerned about the impact of the war on the aquatics community and the wider population of Ukraine. FINA will continue to carefully monitor the grave situation and make further decisions as appropriate.”, FINA said in today’s press release.
Yesterday, the International Olympic Committee called on sports organizations to exclude Russian and Belarusian athletes from international events or not allow them to compete under the national flag.
“In order to protect the integrity of global sports competitions and for the safety of all the participants, the IOC Executive Board recommends that International Sports Federations and sports event organisers not invite or allow the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials in international competitions.
Wherever this is not possible on short notice for organisational or legal reasons, the IOC EB strongly urges International Sports Federations and organisers of sports events worldwide to do everything in their power to ensure that no athlete or sports official from Russia or Belarus be allowed to take part under the name of Russia or Belarus. Russian or Belarusian nationals, be it as individuals or teams, should be accepted only as neutral athletes or neutral teams. No national symbols, colours, flags or anthems should be displayed.”, IOC announced among the other things.
Russian water polo teams in international competitions
Both Russian water polo teams entered the 2022 World League.
The male team lost to Croatia on Day 2 of Group D. The Russians’ second World league match should be an encounter with Greece. Originally, the game was scheduled for March 8 in Saint Petersburg. The result of that match should determine which team will finish in 2nd place in Group D (Croatia secured 1st place earlier).
In the last few days, FINA has canceled all events that were scheduled in Russia in the following six months, including this match.
Where alternative arrangements can be made for these events, they will be communicated as soon as possible., FINA said on Friday.
A new date and a new venue for the game Russia – Greece haven’t been determined yet. According to the FINA’s updated calendar, only games of groups A,B, and C are on the schedule for the next week.
The female team of Russia was drawn into the group with Italy and Spain. On Day 1, Russia beat Italy, while their second match is planned for March 15 in Spain.
Both Russian national water polo teams have qualified for the World Championships in Budapest and the European Championships in Split.
As for LEN’s competitions for clubs, two Russian female clubs reached the quarterfinals of the LEN Euro League. Kinef Kirishi has qualified for the Final Four. Dynamo Uralochka beat Plebiscito in the 1st leg in Italy. On Saturday, LEN announced that the return match would be played on March 3 in the neutral venue in Belgrade (time to be confirmed).
In a statement, issued on February 25, the LEN Board expressed its strong support and solidarity with Ukraine’s athletes in these unprecedented times. LEN postponed all international competitions and events in Russia and said that discussions about how to manage the impact of the crisis on upcoming competitions had been added to the agenda for discussion at the next LEN Bureau meeting.