Speedo Cuts Ties with Olympic Gold Medal Swimmer Evgeny Rylov for Attending Putin Rally

Speedo terminated their sponsorship contract with Russian Gold Medalist Swimmer Evgeny Rylov after he attended a pro-Putin rally in Moscow.

Rylov was seen in attendance together with seven other Russian athletes at a pro-war rally in Moscow hosted by Putin himself that celebrated Russia’s annexation of Crimea back in 2014.

Crimea’s annexation is part of the ongoing Ukraine-Russia turmoil and was deemed illegal by the Ukrainian government and heavily condemned by Western countries. 

The 25-year-old athlete won two gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics last year, both from backstroke events.

In a statement to Inside the Games, Speedo expressed their sentiments, “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.”

They also said, “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.”

Aside from terminating deals with pro-Putin athletes, Speedo has also decided to donate their sponsorships to the UN Commissioner for Refugees. 

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