Evgeny Rylov appeared at the event in Moscow last week
Swimmer Evgeny Rylov. © Alexander Vilf / Sputnik
Swimwear company Speedo has terminated its sponsorship deal with double Olympic champion Evgeny Rylov after the star attended a Moscow concert marking the reunification of Crimea with Russia.
Rylov, who won gold in the 100m and 200m backstroke events at the Tokyo Games, appeared at the mass meeting at Luzhniki Stadium on Friday which was held under the banner ‘For a World without Nazism’.
Officials estimated that more than 100,000 people gathered inside the stadium and the surrounding area, as Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the crowd while a host of music stars performed.
The concert was similar to events which have been held in recent years to mark the reunification with Crimea, including at Luzhniki, although sections of the Western media described this year’s meeting as a “pro-war rally” as it comes amid Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.
Rylov, 25, was among the prominent Russian athletes in attendance and appeared in national team gear emblazoned with the letter ‘Z’ – a symbol which has been attached to Russian military hardware during the Ukraine conflict, and which has come to be used as a show of support for Russian forces.