International Fencing Federation (FIE) is the first union to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to fence International Competitions

by Anastasia Shmay, Staff Writer

The International Fencing Federation’s Congress has made a vote to reinstate fencers coming from Russia and its ally Belarus to allow them to fence in the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics. On March 10, 2023 the FIE also known as the International Fencing Federation, voted to determine if Russia and Belarus should fence. In a congress of 136 delegates from different national federations 89 of them chose to allow fencers from Russia and Belarus to start competing internationally for the first time since the war between Russia and Ukraine. It’s said that the fencers will be allowed to compete in the second half of April although people are planning to boycott and protest by not going to any competitions.

Since of March 10, USA Fencing (The United States Fencing Federation) Samuel Cheris the USA Fencing Treasurer and FIE Delegate put out a statement about FIE allowing the two countries to compete and to summarize it, Samuel Cheris says that USA Fencing is against letting any fencer compete of any country that commits war crimes. If you want to view the full statement from the CEO of USA Fencing and Treasurer, Samuel Cheris, visit @usafencing on Instagram.

How did other countries respond? Germany’s Fencing Federation responded to FIE’s decision by canceling a World Cup event. A chain of other actions are being made such as the U.S. allowing athletes to express their rights by deciding not to compete against Russian and Belarusian fencers. USA Fencing has also provided athletes with patches that have the Ukrainian flag on them to show that they stand with Ukraine.