— Published 26 September 2022

Vadym Guttsait increases the pressure

Vadym Guttsait writes again. The Ukrainian Minister of Sport (pictured above, centre, between Thomas Bach and Sergey Bubka), who is also President of the National Fencing Federation, wrote a new letter last week to the acting President of the International Fencing Federation (FIE), Emmanuel Katsiadakis, and to the members of the Executive Committee. FrancsJeux got a copy. Vadym Guttsait once again reiterates his demand that Russian and Belarusian athletes should not be allowed to take part in international competitions, even under the neutral flag. The former fencer explains that, since Vladimir Putin has announced the mobilisation of Russia, it is likely that some Russian athletes will soon be called to arms to answer their president’s call. Vadym Guttsait quotes the President of the Russian Olympic Committee, Stanislav Pozdnyakov (also a former fencer), as saying that “service to the fatherland is an honourable duty of every citizen, including members of national teams”. The Ukrainian Minister of Sport notes that many Russian fencers belong to the Army Sports Club. “This means that they are directly supported and sponsored by their Ministry of Defence,” suggests Vadym Guttsait in his letter to the FIE. “None of them will say anything against Russian aggression. All of them are current officers of the Ministry of Defence, so they are connected to the aggression.”