— Published 27 April 2022

Rylov was at the show

A concert. Nothing more. The Russian swimmer Evgeny Rylov, suspended for nine months by FINA for participating in a pro-Putin demonstration in Moscow on 18 March, explained himself for the first time since the announcement of his sanction by the international swimming body. Present this week at the Russian championships, despite his suspension, he answered questions from the Russia 24 channel. He justified his participation in the event as follows: “I was invited to a concert, I went in, I went out – that’s all.” In fact, his nine-month suspension by FINA should not change much in his destiny as a swimmer. With Russian and Belarusian athletes banned from international competitions until the end of the year, Evgeny Rylov would not have been able to take to the water in 2022. His suspension is due to end in mid-January 2023. The double Olympic champion at the Tokyo Games (100 and 200m backstroke) told Russia 24: “I think I will survive nine months, anyway, there is no international race before the end of 2022. I haven’t lost much. At the moment we are thinking about what to do with the lawyers, and when everything is decided I will be able to give an exact answer. But I expected FINA to decide on a disqualification.”