Russian swimmer Yuliya Efimova authorized under neutral status

Russian swimmer Yuliya Efimova authorized under neutral status

Yuliya Efimova on Friday became the first Russian swimmer to benefit from neutral individual athlete (AIN) status for the Paris Olympic Games,

Yuliya Efimova on Friday became the first Russian swimmer to benefit from Neutral Individual Athlete (AIN) status for the Paris Olympics, although she said she would struggle to qualify on time.

The breaststroker, six-time world champion and triple Olympic medalist at London-2012 (200m, bronze) and Rio-2016 (100 and 200m, silver), received the status of neutral swimmer for Paris from the body Head of Swimming, World Aquatics.

They gave me (neutral status) today but it’s a big problem not having enough time for the international qualifiers.

Yuliya Efimova

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) individually authorizes Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate under a neutral banner in the Games, on the conditions of not having openly supported the offensive launched in Ukraine by Russia in February 2022 and of not being a member of a club linked to the security forces.

Efimova, 32, however, told Russian channel Match TV.Ru that she would struggle to meet the Olympic qualification deadline of June 23, and that without a visa for the In Europe, she could not participate in events where she could have qualified.

“They gave me (neutral status) today but it’s a big problem not having enough time for the international qualifiers. The competitions all end on June 23 – either they have taken place or they will take place next week.

“Most importantly, World Aquatics quickly reviewed my application and is supporting me to compete in the Olympics. But I don’t have a visa for Europe and I don’t have access to international qualifications, which are all coming to an end.”she lamented.

Russian Swimming Federation President Vladimir Salnikov told state news agency TASS that it was up to each swimmer to apply for neutral status, but that Russia was not standing in their way. “We have not prohibited athletes from applying for this status, it is their personal matter“, he said of Efimova.

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