Russian fencers are due to return to action at the FIE Sabre Grand Prix in Seoul ©Getty Images

Russian Fencing Federation President Ilgar Mammadov has claimed that his fencers face missing an upcoming International Fencing Federation (FIE) Sabre Grand Prix in Seoul over the length of time it is taking to carry out checks into possible affiliations with Russia’s military.

The event, scheduled to be held from April 27 to 29 in the South Korean capital, is set to count towards qualification for next year’s Olympics in Paris.

Russian and Belarusian fencers have been permitted to return to international competition as neutrals following a controversial verdict at last month’s FIE Extraordinary Congress.

Under the International Olympic Committee (IOC) conditions for their reintroduction, athletes and officials from Russia and Belarus must not be in support of the war in Ukraine or be affiliated to the military or national security agencies.

Mammadov revealed last month that he was ordered by the FIE to send a list of between 110 and 120 athletes, coaches and referees with club and agency affiliations in order to comply with the IOC’s recommendations.

However, the Russian official said that he had yet to receive a response despite there only being two weeks to go before the Sabre Grand Prix event was due to start.

"The lists have been sent, they are now being forwarded by the FIE Commission to lawyers and cybersecurity specialists," Mammadov told Russia’s official state news agency TASS.

"But we have less and less chances to get to the Grand Prix stage in Seoul.

"There are practically none left, since the competition starts on April 27.

The FIE is carrying out checks on Russian fencers to ensure compliance with conditions of neutrality and individual eligibility ©Getty Images
The FIE is carrying out checks on Russian fencers to ensure compliance with conditions of neutrality and individual eligibility ©Getty Images

"We don't even know what conditions are put forward to us.

"So in words we were admitted to the competition, but according to the documents, we are not going anywhere yet.

"And I spoke about this two months ago - not a single specific document, everything is just in words."

The Sabre World Cup event in Seoul is expected to be the first where Russian and Belarusian fencers are present since the FIE approved their return last month.

FIE members agreed to allow them to compete following a vote at an Extraordinary Congress held online on March 10, but the move has sparked a backlash.

Poland cancelled its FIE Foil World Cup event due to be held from April 21 to 23 in Poznań, with the Polish Fencing Federation (PZS) saying it "could not accept" the return of Russians and Belarusians without being able to carry out its own verification process.

Fencing World Cups in Tauberbischofsheim in Germany and Saint-Maur-des-Fossés in France had already been cancelled due to the situation.

All three were part of the Paris 2024 qualification process.

France, Sweden and Denmark are among other countries to say they will not host events where Russian and Belarusian fencers are permitted to compete.

insidethegames has contacted the FIE for comment.