Germany Cancels World Cup Event after Russia and Belarus' Readmission

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German federation (DFB) President Claudia Bokel, a team epee silver medallist at the 2004 Olympics, said the decision to reverse the ban had triggered "heated discussions".

Germany's fencing federation said Thursday it has cancelled a women's foil World Cup event after the sport's global governing body International Fencing Federation (FIE) reversed a ban placed on Russian and Belarusian athletes.

Athletes from Russia and its ally Belarus were banned from many international competitions after Moscow's full-scale invasion of Ukraine last February in what Russia calls a "special military operation".

More than 60% of countries voted in last Friday's extraordinary congress to allow Russians and Belarusians to resume competing in FIE events.

German federation (DFB) President Claudia Bokel, a team epee silver medallist at the 2004 Olympics, said the decision to reverse the ban had triggered "heated discussions".

"Our solidarity goes to the people of Ukraine who are suffering from the war of aggression," Bokel said. "The German Fencing Federation accepts last Friday's decision.

"We now want to give a clear signal that we would have liked a different result and that we still see a large number of open implementation questions from the world federation, which make it impossible to carry out the tournament."

The competition was scheduled to hold from May 5 to 7 in Germany's northeastern city of Tauberbischofsheim. Fencing's qualifying process for next year's Paris Olympics is due to begin in April.

Russian Fencing Federation President Ilgar Mammadov, a double Olympic gold medallist in team foil, said he was not surprised by the decision of the DFB.

"This is not the first country, others will refuse," he was quoted as saying by Russian news agency TASS. "I will not criticise my colleagues.

"Of course, we expected such decisions. Those countries that cannot hold competitions on equal terms will not hold them. There will be others, they are in large numbers."