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Ukraine sues International Fencing Federation

The national governing body is protesting the decision to admit Russian and Belarusian athletes to the World Cup

The National Fencing Federation of Ukraine (NFFU) has revealed that it is suing the international body that regulates the sport over its decision to allow holders of Russian and Belarusian passports to compete.

The NFFU filed a request for an injunction against the International Fencing Federation (FIE) with the District Court of Lausanne, Switzerland in early April, the organization said in a press release on Tuesday. A similar suit was filed in late March with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), it added.

The Ukrainian federation seeks to suspend the March 10 decision by the FIE which paved the way for Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in international competitions. The move opened the door for qualification in the 2024 Olympics in Paris.


The Ukrainian government and some of its backers have been working to undermine the FIE’s policy. Several EU nations, including Germany, France, and Poland, have scrapped fencing World Cup events they were supposed to host.

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Ukraine's national delegation during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.
Ukraine bans sports teams from facing Russians

Following the international body’s guidelines poses “a risk that a large number of competitors with Russian and Belarusian passports [would] be admitted in a poorly controlled manner,” Poland’s PZS said regarding its cancelation of the women’s foil event this month.

The controversy in the fencing world is part of a wider contention over efforts to readmit Russian and Belarusian athletes in their respective sports. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) lifted its previous blanket ban and has greenlit the participation of the athletes in question under a neutral flag with several restrictions. It argued that banning people based on their citizenship is inherently discriminatory.


Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Ministry of Youth and Sports banned Ukrainian nationals from taking part in Olympic qualification events in which citizens of Russia or Belarus compete. The IOC condemned the pressure by national governments, saying it is not their right to restrict access.

April 26, 2023 at 04:23PM

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