Swimming’s world governing body has defended a decision to award it highest honour to Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying it had nothing to do with politics.
Fina has been criticised over the timing of the decision with relations between Russia and the NATO alliance under strain, but the body’s executive director Cornel Marculescu told Reuters that the award was related only to sport.
“Our constitution is very clear,” Marculescu said. “(there is) no discrimination for the political region or anything like that.
“Our award was only related to the sport, not with the rest.”