WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A fencing World Cup event in Poland has been canceled because the sport’s governing body decided last month to let Russians and Belarusians compete.
The Polish Fencing Association said Wednesday it will not host the Olympic qualifying event for women’s foil from April 21-23 in Poznan.
Last month, the International Fencing Federation voted to allow athletes from Russia and Belarus to resume competing after an exclusion of more than a year.
After the decision to allows Russians back, more than 300 fencers signed a letter of protest and the organizers of another World Cup event in Germany withdrew as hosts. French organizers canceled yet another event last week.
Russia, with the help of ally Belarus, invaded Ukraine more than a year ago. Poland has been a strong supporter of Ukraine since the war started.
Poland will also host this year’s European Games, a multi-sport event similar to the Olympics, with no Russian and Belarusian athletes.
The announcement to cancel the fencing event in Poland came as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and first lady Olena Zelenska were on an official visit to Warsaw.