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02 March 2022, 17:42

FINA's ban on Belarusian athletes viewed as discrimination

MINSK, 2 March (BelTA) - The decision of the International Swimming Federation (FINA) to ban Belarusian swimmers from representing the Republic of Belarus and using the state symbols at international competitions contradicts the statute of FINA and is discriminatory, the official address of the Belarusian Swimming Federation says, Chairwoman of the Belarusian Swimming Federation Ella Selitskaya told BelTA.

The constitution of the International Swimming Federation says that “FINA shall not allow any discrimination against national federations or individuals (competitors, officials, judges, delegates, etc.) on the grounds of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or political affiliations, languages or abilities. FINA is politically neutral,” emphasizes the address of the Belarusian Swimming Federation.

“FINA has always followed its fundamental rule of being neutral during past military-political crises on different continents of the planet. At that time, competitions were not stopped and athletes were not suspended. We all empathized then with our friends in those countries and welcomed them both internationally and at our competitions. Such a balanced position helped not only maintain but also develop our water community,” the Belarusian Swimming Federation's address says.

The FINA decision is not only a flagrant violation of the most important rule of the FINA constitution about discrimination on the grounds of nationality and political neutrality, but also let us talk about their selective attitude to the application of sanctions.

“At this difficult time, the Belarusian Swimming Federation stands up for the protection of Belarusian swimmers and the observance of the fundamental principles of the FINA constitution,” the address reads.

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