SYDNEY (AFP) - Swimming's governing body Fina pulled the world junior championships from Russia on Monday (Feb 28) and said no other events would be held in the country "if this grave crisis continues".
Swimming powerhouse Australia welcomed the decision, which came after criticism that Fina, the sport's governing body, had been slow to follow other sports in cancelling events following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
"Fina remains extremely concerned with the continuing war in Ukraine and following ongoing consultation with athletes and stakeholders from the aquatics family, Fina can confirm that the eighth World Junior Swimming Championships is cancelled," it said on Twitter.
"Fina will not be holding any future events in Russia if this grave crisis continues," it added.
The World Junior Championships were due to be held in Kazan in August, with the short-course titles scheduled for December in the same city.
Swimming Australia said it would be boycotting all competitions in Russia, including the World Short Course Championships, which have yet to be axed officially.
"The decision has been made with athlete and staff safety the priority, whilst also acknowledging the role that sports must play within the international landscape," it said in a statement.
"Swimming Australia strongly condemns the actions of the Russian government and is appalled by the developments in Ukraine."
The long-course world championships are due to be held in Hungary, which borders Ukraine, in June.
Swimming Australia said it "will continue to monitor the situation" before a final decision on whether to attend.