Despite the IOC ban, the first international tournament since the beginning of the war started in Russia. It was called the "World Cup"
An international fencing tournament has started in Kazan, Russia, which the organisers have dubbed the World Cup. In addition to the Russians, athletes from Armenia, Belarus, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Serbia, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam are taking part in the competition.
On April 1, the finals of the men's competition will take place. On April 2, medals will be awarded in the women's and men's team tournaments.
The organisers say their main goal is to "strengthen friendly relations between countries, as well as promote the humanistic values of sport and the true principles of the Olympic movement."
In addition to medals, the winners are promised 1.8 million rubles (~23,000 USD), silver medallists will receive 1.2 million rubles (~15,300 USD), and bronze medallists will receive 600,000 rubles (~7,700 USD).
Following the start of Russia's full-scale invasion, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) appealed to international federations to ban any international tournaments in the aggressor country.
The IOC repeated the same recommendation in its statement on Tuesday, where it approved the return of Russian athletes to neutral status.
It should be noted that the International Fencing Federation, headed by Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov, was the first and so far the only one to allow the participation of the Russian Federation and Belarus in international tournaments.
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