Tue 22 March 2022:
Swimwear maker Speedo has ended its sponsorship with Russia’s double Olympic swimming champion Evgeny Rylov after he attended a rally hosted by Putin in Moscow last week, according to Olympics news website insidethegames.
“We condemn the war in Ukraine in the strongest possible way and stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, our athletes and our team mates who have been impacted by the conflict.”
Days after Russian swimmer Evgeny Rylov appeared at a pro-war rally in Moscow, @speedo is ending its endorsement contract with the 2-time Olympic gold medallist.
Speedo donating balance of his sponsorship fee to the U.N.’s @Refugees agency, helping Ukrainians fleeing their homes. pic.twitter.com/gRCTx9iBr9
— Rick Westhead (@rwesthead) March 21, 2022
Rylov, who won gold in 100 and 200 metres backstroke events at last year’s Tokyo Olympics, was among eight athletes identified at the rally last Friday and sported the letter ‘Z’ on his outfit, insidethegames said.
“Following his attendance at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow at the weekend, Speedo can confirm that it has terminated the sponsorship of Rylov with immediate effect,” insidethegames quoted Speedo as saying in a statement.
During the rally, Putin praised the nation’s “special operation,” referring to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, and celebrated the 8-year anniversary of Russia annexing the formerly-Ukrainian territory of Crimea.
The report added that Speedo would donate the balance of Rylov’s fee to the United Nations Refugee Agency.
FINA has already cancelled this year’s World Junior Swimming Championships that were set to take place in Kazan, Russia in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
It also withdrew the FINA Order awarded to Putin in 2014.
SOURCE: INDEPENDENT PRESS AND NEWS AGENCIES
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