It was expected: the Ukrainian Fencing Federation announced its intention to boycott any competition in which Russian and Belarusian athletes would be engaged. The decision was taken after an emergency meeting of the body chaired by Vadym Guttsait, also president of the Ukrainian Olympic Committee and Minister of Sports. It followed the vote of the extraordinary congress of the International Fencing Federation (FIE) on Friday, March 10, in favor of a conditional return of Russian and Belarusian athletes in international competitions from next month. “It was decided not only not to take part in duels with Russian and Belarusian athletes at competitions of any level, but also for our athletes, coaches and judges not to participate in competitions in which Russian or Belarusian athletes are competing,” said the Ukrainian federation in a statement. The national body also announced its intention to challenge the “illegal and shameful decision” of the FIE. Since the announcement of the return of fencers from the two countries at war with Ukraine, Germany and Finland have announced that they would not host stages of the World Cup of fencing. The period of qualification for the Paris 2024 Games must begin in April. It will end on March 31, 2024.
— Published 22 March 2023