The Inter­na­tion­al Aquat­ics Fed­er­a­tion has com­piled a detailed list of cri­te­ria that par­tic­i­pants from Rus­sia and Belarus must meet.

The Inter­na­tion­al Swim­ming Fed­er­a­tion allowed Russ­ian and Belaru­sian ath­letes to par­tic­i­pate in com­pe­ti­tions in a neu­tral sta­tus. But with cer­tain con­di­tions, which were report­ed by the press ser­vice of the fed­er­a­tion.

Why were Russians allowed to compete?

67% of ath­letes sur­veyed by the Inter­na­tion­al Aquat­ics Fed­er­a­tion (World Aquat­ics) were in favor of allow­ing Rus­sians and Belaru­sians to com­pete. Coun­tries will be able to nom­i­nate their par­tic­i­pants only in indi­vid­ual swim­ming events.

As the head of the orga­ni­za­tion, Hus­sein al-Musal­lam, explained, the deci­sion on admis­sion is due to the fact that the fed­er­a­tion respects all ath­letes, regard­less of their cit­i­zen­ship.

Ear­li­er this year, Russ­ian and Belaru­sian ath­letes were allowed to par­tic­i­pate in inter­na­tion­al triathlon and gym­nas­tics com­pe­ti­tions in a neu­tral sta­tus. The Inter­na­tion­al Com­put­er Sports Fed­er­a­tion has com­plete­ly allowed Rus­sians to com­pete under their flag.

What are the conditions for athletes to participate?

But this is in the­o­ry; in prac­tice, the list of require­ments for ath­letes looks impres­sive. The cri­te­ria for swim­mers are based on the rec­om­men­da­tions of the IOC Exec­u­tive Com­mit­tee adopt­ed in March 2023.

The IOC rec­om­mend­ed that inter­na­tion­al fed­er­a­tions admit Rus­sians indi­vid­u­al­ly, in a neu­tral sta­tus, with­out par­tic­i­pat­ing in team events. And also exclude the par­tic­i­pa­tion of ath­letes asso­ci­at­ed with law enforce­ment agen­cies and express­ing sup­port for the SVO.

This was reflect­ed in the cri­te­ria for select­ing swim­mers. They can per­form with­out flag and anthemmust walk in plain white uni­form And do not com­mu­ni­cate with the press.

In this case, a max­i­mum of one swim­mer is allowed to enter for each dis­ci­pline. This means that Rus­sians and Belaru­sians will not be able to com­pete in duets, syn­chro­nized swim­ming, water polo, as well as syn­chro­nized div­ing and relay races.

“World Aquat­ics rec­og­nizes the ded­i­ca­tion, com­mit­ment and tal­ent of ath­letes, regard­less of their nation­al­i­ty. Despite the chal­lenges we face on the inter­na­tion­al stage, we rec­og­nize our respon­si­bil­i­ty to cre­ate a com­pet­i­tive, fair and inclu­sive envi­ron­ment for every ath­lete,” the state­ment said.

Among the oth­ers con­di­tions for admis­sion to com­pe­ti­tions:

  • lack of a con­tract with Russ­ian or Belaru­sian secu­ri­ty forces;
  • com­pli­ance with anti-dop­ing rules;
  • lack of sup­port for the mil­i­tary oper­a­tion in Ukraine.

How did they react to the demands in Russia?

The head coach of the Russ­ian div­ing team, Svet­lana Moi­see­va, in a con­ver­sa­tion with Match TV, called the cri­te­ria of World Aquat­ics dis­crim­i­na­to­ry.

“We are placed in unimag­in­able lim­its, which are nar­row­ing and nar­row­ing and nar­row­ing. This is not good for the sport. This is com­plete dis­crim­i­na­tion. Why one per­son at a time? There is a feel­ing that they want us to refuse our­selves, but we can­not do this due to the prin­ci­ples of Olymp­ism. It’s too ear­ly to talk about any­thing, but the atti­tude is, of course, neg­a­tive,” she said.

​​​Com­men­ta­tor Dmit­ry Guberniev went even fur­ther: “As far as I under­stand, our ath­letes do not have the right to appear any­where after the start, and they are not allowed to com­mu­ni­cate. This is just bul­ly­ing and seg­re­ga­tion based on nation­al­i­ty