— Published 12 April 2023

Salnikov attacks the IOC

No doubt: Russian swimmers will be absent from the next World Swimming Championships. They are scheduled from July 14 to 30, 2023 in Fukuoka, Japan. The international federation, World Aquatics (formerly FINA), announced last week its decision to create a working group to consider the possible return of Russian and Belarusian athletes. But its report is not expected before July. Too late, therefore, to allow them to take to the water at the 2023 Worlds. For Vladimir Salnikov, the president of the Russian Swimming Federation, everything would be the fault of the IOC. The former middle-distance legend, Olympic champion of the 1 500 m in 1980 and 1988, explained it to the agency TASS: “We are the witnesses of a crisis of the Olympic movement, it prevents us from moving forward. It is written in the Olympic Charter that athletes must unite in the name of peace, without discrimination. But all the fundamental principles are perverted: everyone is equal, but we are no longer equal. The decision of our return to international competitions belongs to the World Aquatics board. It will either follow the recommendation of the IOC, which has already postponed its decision regarding our participation in the Olympic Games, or the report of its working group. But either way, I believe we will not participate in any World Aquatics events until the end of the year.