Russian Swimming Federation President Vladimir Salnikov admits the focus needs to be on holding home events due to restrictions imposed by governing bodies in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine ©Getty Images

Russian Swimming Federation President Vladimir Salnikov has admitted the focus is on holding home events as he cast doubts over the possibility of swimmers from Russia competing at the Mare Nostrum swimming series.

The three-leg tour is scheduled to be held in late May with Monaco, Barcelona in Spain and Canet En Roussillon in France set to hold meets.

But Salnikov expects to face "certain organisational difficulties" when looking to send swimmers to the commercial event.

The European Swimming League announced last month that it would not allow athletes from Russia and Belarus to participate in its competitions due to the two nations' involvement in the war in Ukraine.

"I think that Mare Nostrum is a big question, despite the fact that the competition will take place," Salnikov told Russia’s official state news agency TASS.

"But I foresee certain organisational difficulties, based on the fact that the European federation has adopted very strict restrictions on our athletes to participate in various events under their auspices.

"Therefore, I think that guarantees [of participation] can only be in our country, which we will focus on."

The Russian Swimming Championships came to a close in Kazan yesterday after a week of races.

The event was staged against the backdrop of Russian swimmers being frozen out of global competitions by the International Swimming Federation (FINA) until the end of the year.

Evgeny Rylov competed at the Russian Swimming Championships after being banned for nine months by FINA ©Getty Images
Evgeny Rylov competed at the Russian Swimming Championships after being banned for nine months by FINA ©Getty Images

Two-time Olympic gold medallist Evgeny Rylov, who has recently been banned for nine months by FINA for attending a pro-war rally held by Russian President Vladimir Putin, was among those to compete in the event where he earned bronze in the men's 100 metres backstroke.

Rylov avoided further action following his participation, with FINA concluding that it was not one of its sanctioned event after carrying out an internal review.

Russian swimmers will be unable to take part in the World Aquatics Championships, scheduled to be held in Hungarian capital Budapest from June 17 to July 3.

Despite being denied the chance to compete on the big stage, Russian head coach Sergei Chepik insisted that motivation remained high among his athletes.

"Sport is out of politics, we are doing our own thing," Chepik told TASS.

"To reduce motivation, I didn’t notice it.

"There was a slight confusion, nothing more, but when the competition calendar appeared, the athletes began to understand something.

"The psychological load is lower than at the Olympic Games, World and European Championships.

"There is no failure and discouragement."