The German fencing federation has canceled a women’s World Cup foil event after the sport’s global governing body (FIE) reversed a ban on athletes from Russia and its ally Belarus, it said on Thursday.
Athletes from the two countries were banned from many international competitions after Russia invaded Ukraine last February in what Moscow calls a “special military operation.”
More than 60% of countries voted to allow Russians and Belarusians to participate in FIU events again during last week’s extraordinary congress.
The president of the German federation (DFB), Claudia Bokel, silver medalist for team épée at the 2004 Olympics, said the decision had sparked “heated debate”.
“Our solidarity goes out to the people of Ukraine suffering from the war of aggression,” Bokel said. “The German Fencing Federation accepts last Friday’s decision.
“We now want to send a clear signal that we would have liked to see a different result and that we still see a large number of outstanding implementation questions from the world federation, so that the tournament cannot take place.”
The game was scheduled for May 5-7 in Tauberbischofsheim. The fencing qualification process for next year’s Paris Olympics will begin in April.
President Ilgar Mammadov of the Russian Fencing Federation said he was not surprised by the DFB’s decision.
“This is not the first country, others will refuse,” said Mammadov, a double Olympic gold medalist in team foil, quoted by Russia’s TASS news agency. “I will not criticize my colleagues.
“Of course we expected such decisions. The countries that cannot hold competitions on equal terms will not hold them. There will be more, they are in great numbers.”