FINA Rejects Arkady Vyatchanin’s Request to Swim For Serbia at 2016 Rio Olympics

Photo Courtesy: Maddie Kyler

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Editorial Coverage Sponsored By FINIS

Arkady Vyatchanin, a two-time Olympic medalist for Russia, has been rejected by FINA after attempting to represent Serbia at the 2016 Rio Olympics according to the Associated Press.

“Obviously, it was pretty disappointing,” Vyatchanin told the AP. “I thought FINA would have some compassion about my case. I’ve been out of the biggest international meets for more than 3 1-2 years. I thought this fact, along with fact that I could not afford to live in Serbia, I just felt they would listen to reason about my situation and make some kind of exception for me.”

Vyatchanin, who won two bronze medals for Russia at the 2008 Beijing Olympics but has been trying to get out from under his Russian citizenship for the past few years, had missed the last two world championship events while attempting to change his sports citizenship to Serbia.

In a letter Vyatchanin states he received from FINA, the organization stated that Vyatchanin had not complied with residency requirements as he’s been on the U.S. regularly to compete as part of the Arena Pro Swim Series for prize money to sustain his swimming.

FINA executive director Cornel Marculescu told the AP he was unaware of any ruling.

“In general, for changes of nationality, we’ll need to fulfill various requirements like residence, nationality, results,” Marculescu told the AP. “I don’t know where the case is at the moment.”

Vyatchanin countered with the AP.

“His signature is on the official letter I received,” Vyatchanin told the AP. “Obviously, he did not write the letter himself, but he put his signature there. He must have at least read it.”

Full AP article.

8 Comments

8 comments

  1. avatar
    Rebecky

    This is so disappointing. He’s too good to be left out altogether.

    • avatar
      Blue Angel

      Steven Seagal have Serbian Passport Arkady Vyatchanin can get Serbian Passport as well, all he has to do is ask the Serbian President

  2. avatar
    Owen Van Renen

    Bureaucracy rules. No compassion. FINA lives in the dark ages.

  3. avatar
    Blue Angel

    Steven Seagal have Serbian Passport Arkady Vyatchanin can get Serbian Passport as well, all he has to do is ask the Serbian President

  4. avatar
    Blue Angel

    Arkady Vyatchanin already have Russian and Serbian Passport I did not realized this until now so why FINA won’t let him compete ??

Author: Jason Marsteller

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Jason Marsteller is the general manager of digital properties at Swimming World. He joined Swimming World in June 2006 as the managing editor after previous stints as a media relations professional at Indiana University, the University of Tennessee, Southern Utah University and the Utah Summer Games.

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