Russian and Belarusian swimmers to compete as neutrals in international eventstext_fields
World Aquatics, the global swimming federation, has lifted the ban on Russian and Belarusian swimmers participating in international competitions.
These athletes had been excluded from competition for the past 18 months following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. World Aquatics made the decision unanimously after extensive consultation and deliberation.
The new guidelines permit Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete as neutral individuals in future World Aquatics competitions. This decision aligns with the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) recommendation to reintegrate athletes from these countries into world sports under specific conditions, including the use of a neutral flag. Athletes who have not actively supported the war in Ukraine are eligible for reintegration.
Under the updated regulations, swimmers from Russia and Belarus will only be allowed to participate in individual events, with a maximum of one swimmer from each country per event. These athletes will not have the authorisation to engage with the media.
World Aquatics noted that 67% of international athletes support the reintegration of Russian and Belarusian athletes who adhere to the established conditions.
Several international federations, including fencing, gymnastics, archery, judo, climbing, and badminton, have already decided to reintegrate athletes from Russia and Belarus. This enables these athletes to pursue qualification for the upcoming Olympics in Paris.