Russian city to host world short-course swimming championships in 2022
Kazan was today controversially named host of the FINA World Swimming Championships in 2022, the first major event in a summer Olympics sport to be assigned to Russia since an International Olympic Committee recommendation that high-profile competitions should not be awarded to the country in the wake of allegations of a "state-supported" doping programme there.
Kazan will host the short-course (25m) championships in 2022, while Budapest has been named as the 2024 location. The Hungarian capital is presently staging the FINA World Championships.
The two cities saw off competition from Hong Kong and Taipei City.
Kazan staged the FINA World Championships in 2015, and Vladimir Leonov, minister of sport and youth of the republic of Tatarstan, said: "FINA knows Kazan very well. We have the necessary infrastructures and the full support of our authorities. We are known as the sport capital of Russia, and everyone in the FINA family fully understands the meaning of this status."
A year ago, the IOC announced it would "not organise or give patronage to any sports event or meeting in Russia," yet two months later Kazan appeared on a list of bidders for the short-course World Championships in 2022 or 2024.
Confusingly the IOC said at the time that its July 2016 statement, which followed the publication of the independent McLaren Report, commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, that “only addressed events of International Olympic Winter Sports federations” (the McLaren Report alleged that the Russian government and security and sporting authorities were complicit in a drugs and cover-up programme that impacted on events including the 2014 winter Olympics in Sochi).
However, the IOC had earlier said that its recommendation covered "plans for the [summer] European Games 2019 organised by the European Olympic Committees,” which had been due to be awadred to Russia.
FINA, aquatics' governing body, told Sportcal back in September: “As a general consideration, 2022 and 2024 are respectively six and eight years away and in this lapse of time many changes will certainly occur in the international sports environment.”
The next editions of the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) will take place in Hangzhou in China in 2018 and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates in 2020.