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Friday, September 30, 2022

Again, Russia stripped of world championships

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The Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) has pulled the world’s junior championships from Russia and if the war continues in Ukraine.

Swimming powerhouse Australia welcomed the decision, which came after criticism that FINA had been slow to follow other sports in cancelling events following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Read Also: UEFA to cancel £66m deal with Russian gas company Gazprom

“FINA remains extremely concerned with the continuing war in Ukraine and following ongoing consultation with athletes and stakeholders from the aquatics family, FINA can confirm that the eighth World Junior Swimming Championships is cancelled,” it said on Twitter.

“FINA will not be holding any future events in Russia if this grave crisis continues,” it added.

The World Junior Championships were due to be held in Kazan in August with the short course titles scheduled for December in the same city.

Swimming Australia said it would be boycotting all competitions in Russia, including the World Short Course Championships, which are yet to be axed officially.

“The decision has been made with athlete and staff safety the priority, whilst also acknowledging the role that sports must play within the international landscape,” it said in a statement.

“Swimming Australia strongly condemns the actions of the Russian government and is appalled by the developments in Ukraine.”

The long-course world championships are due to be held in Hungary, which borders Ukraine, in June.

Swimming Australia said it “will continue to monitor the situation” before a final decision on whether to attend.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sparked a widespread reaction in the sports world, with the UEFA Champions League final moved to France and Formula One’s Russian Grand Prix cancelled.

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