Ukraine ‘surprised’ as Russian fencers cleared to compete
The International Fencing Federation (FIE) on Friday determined to permit Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete in Olympic qualifying occasions, sparking outrage in Ukraine.
Fencing turned into the primary Olympic recreation to reopen occasions to fencers from the 2 international locations, three hundred and sixty five days after their exclusion due to the struggle in Ukraine.
After the verdict at an ordinary congress in Lausanne, Ukraine’s fencing frame used to be in “shock” whilst their Russian opposite numbers expressed “gratitude”.
Fencing’s qualifying procedure for the 2024 Paris Olympics is due to start in April.
FIE’s resolution will take impact from April “subject to possible recommendations or future decisions of the International Olympic Committee (IOC),” a delegate advised AFP.
Athletes may just qualify and nonetheless be barred through the IOC from the Games.
Around 65 p.c of FIE voted for the go back to pageant of Russian and Belarusian athletes, groups and officers, the delegate who didn’t want to be named advised AFP.
“We are deeply shocked and outraged by this decision and we immediately convene a meeting of the Presidium to decide our response to the decision of the FIE and its possible appeal,” the Ukrainian Fencing Federation stated in a commentary.
Their Russian opposite numbers welcomed the verdict.
“The first step has been taken. I am grateful to colleagues from foreign federations,” Ilgar Mamedov, president of the Russian Fencing Federation, used to be quoted as announcing through the Ria Novosti news company.
He stated he used to be nervous that there would now not be time for “reintegration” through mid-April.
The Ukrainian delegation had sought to have the vote got rid of from the congress time table however the request used to be became down through the 136 electorate.
In January, the IOC stated it used to be in quest of a “pathway” for Russians to participate within the Games.
Following that announcement, the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) introduced athletes from each international locations the risk to compete on this 12 months’s Asian Games.
That used to be a vital transfer as a result of they may acquire qualifying marks in pageant in Asia to permit them to compete in Paris.
Africa’s National Olympic Committees voted on March 4 in favour of Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete on the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Russian fencers gained 3 gold medals on the Tokyo Olympics, whilst competing beneath the banner of the Russian Olympic Committee.
Russia has lengthy had a number one function in FIE. It used to be run for 14 years through the Russian oligarch Alisher Ousmanov who used to be blacklisted through the European Union after the invasion of Ukraine and handed period in-between keep an eye on to Emmanuel Katsiadakis, a Greek.