Kazan, Russia, To Host European Showpiece Events In 2021 (WADA Decision Pending) & 2024

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Kazan 2021 Event Subject to WADA doping ruling on Monday

The 2021 European Short-Course Championships and 2024 European Aquatics Championships will be held in Kazan, Russia, LEN has announced.

The 2021 event is subject to a decision due on Monday by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA): if it adopts a recommendation by the Compliance Review Committee to impose four more years of sanctions on Russia after the discovery of serious manipulation of samples, then LEN will be barred from hosting any events in Russia for four years.

This week, Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, said that any sanction imposed by WADA at its meeting on Monday would be “mandatory”.

A potential loophole for LEN and Kazan is if there are legal reasons why contracts cannot be cancelled. However, given that both host and swim federation entered agreement after the latest doping crisis broke and the potential for a ban on Russia was muted, any argument for non-compliance with the WADA penalty by the European Swimming League (LEN) is likely to be open to challenge.

The European governing body said on Saturday the LEN Bureau had voted unanimously for Kazan which hosted the 2015 World Aquatics Championships.

The announcement comes in the same week that Rome was awarded the 2022 European Championships with one of the most iconic venues in the sport – the Foro Italico – set to play host.

A statement from LEN president Paolo Barelli read:

“We are happy to award both events to Kazan as the city has become a home of aquatics in recent years where the highest standards are guaranteed for our athletes.

“Kazan has hosted a series of major events in aquatics including the 2015 World Championships and our junior European Championships this summer which were outstanding by all means.

“They have world-class facilities and an experienced organising team, today a federation cannot wish for more.”

Kazan is the sixth most populous city in Russia with around 1.2million people and is the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan.

In 2015 the swimming and synchro – now known as artistic swimming – was held in a temporary pool at the Kazan Arena which is the home of football team Rubin Kazan who play in the Russian Premier League and staged six matches at the FIFA 2018 World Cup including the quarter-final between Brazil and Belgium.

The diving was held at the Palace of Water Sports with a temporary pool constructed for the water pool and the open water and high diving taking place on the Kazanka River near the Kazanka Kremlin.

The Palace of Water Sports also staged this year’s European Junior Championships.