Banned Russian swimmer Evgeny Rylov says he'll keep swimming in Speedo equipment, despite having his sponsorship canceled over his support for Putin
- Olympic winner
Evgeny Rylovwas dropped by his sponsor Speedoafter attending a pro-war rally in Moscow.
- The Russian double gold medalist has also been banned from competing in major
Evgeny Rylov, the double Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer who made headlines for attending a pro-Putin, pro-war rally in Moscow has vowed to keep swimming in Speedo equipment, despite being dropped by the company.
Rylov, who won gold in both the 100- and 200-meter backstroke events at the Tokyo Games, was seen in mid-March onstage at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium during a rally held by President Vladimir Putin to drum up support for the invasion of
In the days after the event, Rylov had a major sponsorship deal with swimming equipment brand Speedo canceled, with the company directly citing his support for the invasion.
"Following his attendance at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow at the weekend, Speedo can confirm that it has terminated the sponsorship of Evgeny Rylov with immediate effect," Speedo said in a statement."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," it added.
Since being dropped by Speedo, Rylov has also been banned from all international swimming events by swimming's governing body FINA, though the ban is effectively only around one month long thanks to a pre-existing broad-brush ban on all Russian athletes by swimming bosses.
Rylov, however, has continued to compete in
Speaking last week, he said he'll keep swimming and keep wearing swimwear made by British-based Speedo, one of the leading manufacturers in the space.
While regulations have become stricter on what athletes can wear in the pool in recent years, having the latest swimsuit technology can help shave off valuable time in the extremely competitive world of elite swimming, where races are often decided by fractions of seconds.
"Many asked me why I kept using Speedo gear, but I hold no grudge against them," Rylov told Russian state media outlet TASS.
"Hurt people are doomed to carry water loads, but I don't like carrying loads of water, as I prefer to be swimming in the water. I am not really bothered by this situation," he said.
Rylov, however, said he's unlikely to shout out Speedo if he breaks any world records, saying he doesn't want to give the company free advertising.
"If I break another world record swimming in a Speedo, I'll consider whether to credit the company or not," he said.
"Producers indicate barcodes of wetsuits, which were used to set a new world record, including at the Olympic Games. It is advertising for them, which is very expensive nowadays."
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