Yevgeny Rylov, Russia’s top swimmer, banned 9 months after attending Putin rally – Home of the Olympic Channel

Yevgeny Rylov, a Russian Olympic gold medalist swimmer, was banned nine months after attending a pro-Vladimir Putin rally in March.
FINA, swimming’s international governing body, also extended its overall ban on Russia and Belarus athletes and officials from its international competitions through the end of this year. It previously banned athletes from those nations from the world aquatics championships this summer.
Russia’s swimming federation responded to last month’s world championships ban by withdrawing all of its athletes from international events for the rest of the year.
A FINA disciplinary panel investigated Rylov, who swept the men’s backstroke golds in Tokyo, for what it said was a potential rules violation for “his alleged participation in a pro-war rally” in Moscow in March.
Rylov also lost his endorsement deal with Speedo because of his involvement in the rally.
Before the world championships ban was announced, Rylov said he would not compete at that meet in support of all Russian athletes who have been barred from international competitions after the nation invaded Ukraine.
Rylov was the lone Russian swimmer to take gold at the Tokyo Olympics, where Russians competed as neutral athletes for the Russian Olympic Committee.
ROC went one-two in the men’s 100m back with Rylov and Kliment Kolesnikov. American Ryan Murphy, who swept the backstrokes in 2016, finished third in that race and second behind Rylov in the 200m back.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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Mikaela Shiffrin‘s Alpine skiing career by the numbers heading into a World Cup stop in Killington, Vermont, on Saturday and Sunday (12:30 p.m. ET each day on NBC and Peacock) …
76: World Cup wins for Shiffrin. She ranks third in history behind Swedish legend Ingemar Stenmark of the 1970s and ’80s, who had 86, and Lindsey Vonn, who retired in 2019 with 82.
75: Combined World Cup wins for U.S. Olympic Alpine skiing gold medalists Bode Miller (33), Ted Ligety (25), Picabo Street (nine), Julia Mancuso (seven) and Tommy Moe (one).
27 (years) and 252 (days): Shiffrin’s age at her 76th World Cup win. Stenmark won his 76th race at 27 years, 305 days. Vonn won her 76th at 31 years, 111 days.
15 (years) and 364 (days): Shiffrin’s age on her World Cup debut in 2011.
42 (percent): The amount of Shiffrin’s life that she has been a World Cup ski racer.
220: World Cup starts for Shiffrin. Stenmark ended his career with 230 starts just before turning 33. Vonn had 395 starts.
7.4: Shiffrin’s average World Cup wins per season in her first 10 full seasons. If she wins eight races this season, she will tie Vonn.
49: World Cup slalom wins for Shiffrin, most for any man or woman in a single discipline. If Shiffrin wins in Killington on Sunday, she will have 50 World Cup slalom victories.
3.07 (seconds): The largest margin of victory in a women’s slalom in World Cup history. Set, of course, by Shiffrin in 2015 in Aspen, Colorado.
61 (percent): Shiffrin’s winning percentage in slaloms among the Olympics, world championships and World Cup in her last 88 starts.
100 (percent): Shiffrin’s winning percentage in World Cup slaloms in Killington. Shiffrin has won all five.
17: Shiffrin victories in the 2018-19 World Cup campaign when she broke the record for most wins in one season (14, Swiss Vreni Schneider).
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Maybe your most recent memory of Mikaela Shiffrin is February’s Olympics, where she failed to finish her three best events and had a top individual result of ninth place. Maybe your most recent memory is her rebound last March, winning the World Cup Finals downhill and a fourth overall season title.
Or maybe it’s what happened last weekend. For the first time in her career, now in its 12th season, Shiffrin won the first two races of a season — back-to-back slaloms in Levi, Finland. They were her 75th and 76th World Cup victories, moving closer to the only skiers with more — Lindsey Vonn (82) and Ingemar Stenmark (86).
The pursuit of those legends is a major storyline for the forseeable future, but is still far off as the women’s World Cup visits the U.S. this weekend for the only time this season. Killington, Vermont, hosts a giant slalom on Saturday and a slalom on Sunday (12:30 p.m. ET each day, NBC and Peacock).
What’s current is that Shiffrin is back on top in her trademark event after finishing last season with her worst string of slalom results since her rookie season (a DNF at the Olympics, then ninth- and eighth-place finishes in the last two World Cup slaloms).
Shiffrin stresses before every fall that she doesn’t know where she stacks up until everybody starts racing. The preseason prep period can last months and include training on three continents. So much can change for every elite skier from year to year, yet somehow Shiffrin has managed to win at least two races in 11 consecutive seasons (tying a record).
What’s different about this year? Flying. A lack of it.
Shiffrin decided to stay in Europe rather than go back home to Colorado after the Oct. 22 season-opening giant slalom in Soelden, Austria was canceled due to rain and snowfall. It’s the second time in her career — and first time in many years — that Shiffrin didn’t cross the Atlantic between Soelden and Levi, races always separated by three or four weeks.
“Not try and battle the jet lag so many times in a row,” she reasoned.
So she arrived in Levi — 110 miles inside the Arctic Circle — earlier than usual. It paid off with those wins over fields that included Slovakian Petra Vlhova, who last season not only won the Olympic slalom, but also the season-long World Cup slalom discipline title to firmly supplant Shiffrin as the world’s best in the event after a years-long rivalry.
“The last years I’ve been really chasing and trying to get back and trying to just kind of stay with it,” Shiffrin said after Sunday’s victory, which included what she called maybe her best run ever in Levi, where she owns six victories. “I’ve won some races, but it’s always like, oh, I was just lucky to be here now. This is a little different this year. I’ve been working very hard, my whole team, over the summer to try to get my highest level a little bit higher. I think these races showed that it’s there.”
There are other factors. Shiffrin said her back is healthy after it curtailed training at the start of the last two seasons. She has two new ski technicians. Who knows how things have changed for Vlhova after dethroning Shiffrin and winning Olympic gold.
Now Shiffrin heads to Killington, where she has finishes of second, third, fourth and fifth in giant slaloms. She has won all five World Cup slaloms held there. If she makes it six in a row, it will be her 50th career World Cup slalom victory and another sign that last season is truly in the past.
By otherwise staying in Europe through this fall and winter, it’ll be the closest she feels to being at home.
“This expectation just builds and builds, and I think I’ll feel some pressure,” in Killington, she said on ORF in Levi on Sunday. “When you win, that actually only gets harder.”
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