The Fencing World Cup in France was canceled on Friday after the international federation voted to allow Russians to compete.
The French Fencing Federation has announced that it will not hold the men’s Monal Epee Challenge tournament near Paris in May after the International Fencing Federation. This month’s decision to end a year-long ban on rivals Russia and its ally Belarus over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The decision caused a backlash when more than 300 fencers signed a letter of protest, and organizers of other World Cup tournaments in Germany pulled out along with the hosts.
Organizers of an upcoming contest in Poland said they would ask Russians and Belarusians to sign a statement saying they did not support the war.
The FIE voted to readmit Russians and Belarusians to events from mid-April, even before the International Olympic Committee said on Tuesday it wanted the sport to allow them to compete again as neutral athletes, while also stepping up qualification for next year’s Paris Olympics. The International Olympic Committee has recommended conditions that include no Russian or Belarusian participation in team events and ban athletes on military contracts, but the FIVB has yet to confirm whether it will comply.
Fencing is an influential sport in Olympic circles. IOC President Thomas Bach is a former fencer who won gold at the 1976 Olympics. Former fencers lead the national Olympic bodies of Russia and Ukraine.
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