Rus­sia has already respond­ed to the demands put for­ward.

The Inter­na­tion­al Swim­ming Fed­er­a­tion allowed ath­letes from Rus­sia and Belarus to take part in com­pe­ti­tions in a neu­tral sta­tus. How­ev­er, she put for­ward sev­er­al demands for ath­letes. Infor­ma­tion about this appeared on the depart­men­t’s web­site.

Thus, it turned out that 67% of the ath­letes sur­veyed were in favor of admit­ting Rus­sians and Belaru­sians, and the head of the orga­ni­za­tion, Hus­sein al-Musal­lam, said that the fed­er­a­tion respects all mem­bers, regard­less of their cit­i­zen­ship. He also thanked those involved in devel­op­ing a strict approach to Russ­ian and Belaru­sian ath­letes.

What conditions did the International Swimming Federation put forward?

The par­tic­i­pa­tion cri­te­ria were devel­oped by a spe­cial task com­mis­sion cre­at­ed back in April. The main require­ment is that Rus­sians and Belaru­sians will have to com­pete under a neu­tral flag. Besides:

  • ath­letes will not be able to com­mu­ni­cate with the press;
  • A max­i­mum of one swim­mer will be able to par­tic­i­pate in each dis­ci­pline;
  • ath­letes should not be asso­ci­at­ed with Russ­ian mil­i­tary struc­tures or intel­li­gence ser­vices;
  • Ath­letes must not sup­port a spe­cial mil­i­tary oper­a­tion: any form of ver­bal, non-ver­bal or writ­ten expres­sion of their posi­tion, explic­it­ly or implic­it­ly, is unac­cept­able at any time since the start of the SVO, includ­ing state­ments made on social media, par­tic­i­pa­tion in demon­stra­tions or events in sup­port of the SVO, wear­ing any sym­bols, includ­ing the let­ter “Z”;
  • swim­mers will be able to obtain neu­tral sta­tus through a spe­cial divi­sion of World Aquat­ics, which is not respon­si­ble for the fact that due to ver­i­fi­ca­tion, ath­letes may miss some stages of the com­pe­ti­tion or lose their neu­tral sta­tus at any time;
  • orga­niz­ers must exclude any men­tion of Rus­sia from all doc­u­ments, both print­ed and elec­tron­ic;
  • qual­i­fy­ing results for major tour­na­ments must be shown out­side of Rus­sia.

How did they react in Russia?

The Pres­i­dent of the All-Russ­ian Swim­ming Fed­er­a­tion, Vladimir Sal­nikov, called such cri­te­ria too harsh and said that the orga­ni­za­tion would try to dis­cuss them again with World Aquat­ics.

“The Pres­i­dent of World Aquat­ics set the task of review­ing the cri­te­ria pro­posed by the task force. The cri­te­ria actu­al­ly dupli­cate the IOC rec­om­men­da­tions, plus in our case this is aggra­vat­ed by the admis­sion of only one ath­lete to the dis­tance. The goal was to rein­te­grate Russ­ian and Belaru­sian ath­letes into inter­na­tion­al com­pe­ti­tions, but in these con­di­tions (this) looks impos­si­ble. So this is a step for­ward, but the access pos­si­bil­i­ties are reduced to a min­i­mum. From the size of a key­hole, this oppor­tu­ni­ty has nar­rowed to the eye of a nee­dle — again, the qual­i­fy­ing result, accord­ing to the cri­te­ria, the guys will have to show out­side of Rus­sia. It is antic­i­pat­ed that there will be fur­ther com­mu­ni­ca­tion with World Aquat­ics on this process,” he said.

The ath­letes thanked the fed­er­a­tion for the oppor­tu­ni­ty to par­tic­i­pate in inter­na­tion­al com­pe­ti­tions, but were still sur­prised by such a strict set of rules devel­oped. And com­men­ta­tor Dmit­ry Guberniev called the emerg­ing cri­te­ria “a mock­ery.”