The FIE banned American athletes from bearing the Ukrainian flag at the FIE Grand Prix in Busan ©Instagram

United States athletes were banned from wearing Ukrainian symbols at the foil International Fencing Federation (FIE) Grand Prix in Busan in protest at the governing body's decision to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to return to its competitions.

More European events have also been scrapped because of the verdict at an Extraordinary Congress on Friday last week (March 10), with Sweden pulling out of staging two Satellite tournament in its capital Stockholm.

Ukrainian-born Ohio State fencer Dasha Myroniuk claimed in an Instagram post shared by the United States' women's foil Olympic champion Lee Kiefer that American athletes attempted to war the Ukrainian flag on their sleeves to express their opposition to the FIE's ruling, which is set to take effect from mid-April.

Myroniuk alleged that the FIE "made them remove them and banned any Ukrainian signs on the form" at the Grand Prix in the South Korean city,

Under FIE rules, competitors are prohibited from wearing the colours of another nation. 

insidethegames has asked the FIE for a comment.

Kiefer was also at the forefront of a video of at least 25 athletes who declared, "No, I don't agree" with the FIE's decision on Instagram.

USA Fencing has been a leading opponent of the FIE's decision to allow individual fencers, teams and officials from Russia and Belarus to return to its events.

The International Olympic Committee's (IOC) recommendations on the non-participation of athletes from both countries remain in place, even as it is controversially exploring a pathway for their return.

IOC President Thomas Bach was a men's foil team Olympic gold medallist with West Germany at Montreal 1976, and is reportedly close with Uzbek-born Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov, who led the FIE from 2008 until temporarily stepping down after being sanctioned by the European Union last year.

A women's foil FIE World Cup in Tauberbischofsheim, where Bach grew up, has already been cancelled because of issues with Russian nationals obtaining visas to enter Germany.

Polish Fencing Federation secretary general Jacek Slupski has warned it could be forced to follow suit with a World Cup in Poznań because of the country's stance against Russia and Belarus.

The Swedish Fencing Federation has now pulled out of hosting the SAF-Pokalen and Rehbinder Prize, claiming its reason is in direct protest at the FIE's decision, as opposed to visa-related.

"It is completely out of the question that we would arrange competitions with participation from these two countries when they started a very bloody war in Ukraine," its President Otto Drakenberg said.

It is now exploring the possibility of arranging other national events with the Stockholm Fencing Federation and other bodies in the capital city.