— Published 16 March 2022

Switzerland threatens to withdraw from the World Cup

FINA is facing a headache. Its decision to allow Russian swimmers in international competitions, under cover of neutrality, does not please everyone. The Swiss Swimming Federation (Swiss Aquatics) announced in a press release on Tuesday 15 March that it might not send a team to the World Championships in Budapest (18 June to 3 July 2022) if Russians and Belarusians were allowed to participate in the competition. “Swiss Aquatics came to the conclusion that it is currently not appropriate to attend the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest if athletes from Russia or Belarus (competing) under their nationality or under a neutral flag receive a start permit from FINA and take part” the body explained. FINA’s position contradicts that of the European Swimming League (ESL), which has chosen to follow the IOC’s recommendation to ban athletes from both countries. Switzerland is the first nation to openly threaten FINA with a boycott of the Budapest World Championships. It may not be the last.