FINA has banned Russia and Belarus from its competitions ©Getty Images

The International Swimming Federation (FINA) has confirmed athletes from Russia and Belarus will be banned from its competitions due to the nations' involvement in the invasion of Ukraine and the breach of the Olympic Truce.

This came after several countries threatened a boycott of the Championships if Russia were allowed to compete.

Both nations were represented in the virtual Artistic Swimming World Series event, hosted by Canada and the United States.

FINA previously allowed both nations to compete neutrally at their competitions before their decision today.

It said the latest decision came following a review of an independent risk assessment in which they added that the Russian body had complied with the sanction.

"Following these decisions, FINA was informed by the Russian Swimming Federation of the withdrawal of all Russian aquatics athletes from all FINA events for the rest of this year," said FINA in a statement.

"FINA maintains its strongest condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

"FINA also wishes to reiterate its commitment to supporting the Ukraine Swimming, Diving and Artistic Swimming Federation as they prepare for upcoming competitions."

The FINA Bureau also decided to remove the hosting of the 2022 FINA Swimming World Championships (25 metres) from Kazan, which is still scheduled to take place from December 17 to 22.

The organisation is in discussions to find a new host.

Evgeny Rylov, before the ban, said he would not compete at the FINA World Championships ©Getty Images
Evgeny Rylov, before the ban, said he would not compete at the FINA World Championships ©Getty Images

In a separate incident, the FINA Disciplinary Panel opened a procedure against Russian swimmer and two-time Olympic champion Evgeny Rylov for a potential violation of its rules following his alleged participation in a pro-war rally at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, led by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Rylov said he would not compete at the World Championships in support of suspended athletes, hours before a ban on Russian athletes was confirmed.

"In connection with the current situation in the world, I would like to make a statement," said Rylov on Instagram. 

"As a sign of support for the Russian Paralympic athletes, as a sign of support for all Russian athletes who have been suspended from international competitions, I refuse to go to the 2022 World Championships this summer. 

"I think that by losing competition, the development of sport is lost. 

"No matter how sad it may sound, but sport cannot move forward without worthy competitors.

"Conclusions should be made by the federations about the direction in which they want to develop sports and whether Pierre de Coubertin wanted to see when he initiated the organisation of the Olympic Games, which were supposed to unite people."

The FINA World Championships are scheduled to take place in Budapest from June 18 to July 3.