Speedo cuts Olympic champion on Putin rally appearance and gives stamp to refugees

Speedo is said to have sunk its sponsorship deal with two-time Russian Olympic swimming champion Evgeny Rylov after appearing on stage with other top athletes at a huge pro-war rally hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin over the weekend .

Rylov’s fees will now be donated to help refugees, representatives of the swimsuit maker said in a statement to CNN.

“We condemn the war in Ukraine in the strongest possible terms and stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, our athletes and our teammates who have been affected by the conflict,” the statement said. “As part of this decision, all unpaid sponsorship fees will be donated to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.”

The terms of Rylov’s now canceled deal with Speedo have not been disclosed. The company did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for additional information.

Rylov, 25, won gold in the 100m and 200m backstroke and silver in the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay at the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics.

At Rio 2016 he won bronze in the 200m backstroke.

Russia’s doping ban meant he competed under the banner of the Russian Olympic Committee.

Swimming’s world governing body FINA said it was investigating Rylov’s attendance at the rally.


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