LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP)Australia replaced Russia as host of swimming’s short-course world championships in December, the sport’s governing body FINA said Friday.

Melbourne will host the 25-meter pool events from Dec. 13-18 after Kazan was stripped of hosting rights in March because of Russia’s war on Ukraine.

”We are incredibly grateful to our hosts for stepping forward to host this prestigious meet,” FINA president Husain al-Musallam said in a statement.

Athletes and officials from Russia and its military ally Belarus have been banned from the aquatics world championships starting June 17 in Budapest, Hungary.

Some national teams, including Germany and Switzerland, had said they would boycott the championships if FINA allowed swimmers from Russia and Belarus to compete as neutral athletes.

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