The fourth season of the International Swimming League (ISL), which was due to run from June to December this year, has been postponed to 2023 due to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

In a statement released yesterday (March 27), the ISL said that many of its staff remain trapped in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv as reports indicate that Russian forces continue to be held at bay outside the city.

The statement read: “In light of this force majeure situation, we cannot, in good faith to our swimmers and our fans, commit to hosting any commercial matches in 2022. As such, we have made the difficult decision to postpone season 4 to 2023.”

The ISL noted that it still has plans to expand its junior league, collaborate with the masters’ swimming community, and to non-match events with its clubs.

The league, the inaugural edition of which was in 2019, has had a torrid time of things over its first handful of years.

It faced a legal dispute with FINA during 2018 and 2019, with the aquatics' governing body having initially refused to allow athletes to compete in it as an unsanctioned series and then launched its own direct competitor to the series before ultimately backing down in the legal dispute.

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As with other sports around the world, the ISL then faced disruption during 2020, its second season, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as further associated legal difficulties.

Despite this most recent hurdle, the ISL has pledged to “come back stronger”.