Russian fencer Dmitriy Danilenko, right, has turned down the opportunity to compete as a neutral at FIE events ©Getty Images

Russian sabre fencer Dmitry Danilenko has refused to compete at International Fencing Federation (FIE) events as a neutral, describing the requirements as "unfair".

A group of 17 Russian athletes have been approved to compete at FIE events under the governing body's conditions for their return, which prohibit those affiliated to the military and who have supported the war in Ukraine in line with International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommendations.

Several Olympic champions, including the Russian Olympic Committee's women's sabre gold medallist Sofia Pozdniakova and successful women's foil and sabre teams, are among those excluded.

Danilenko would have been permitted to return to competition, but has turned down the opportunity to do so because of the FIE's stance.

"It’s unfair that some are allowed in, others are not, they bring discord into the team," he told Russia's official state news agency TASS.

"I think it’s wrong, even though I have a permit. we cannot receive a salary in Russia, compete in Russian competitions.

"In fact, we must abandon our homeland, under such conditions this is unacceptable."

insidethegames has contacted the FIE for a comment on his remarks.

Russia's World Championship sabre gold medallist Veniamin Reshetnikov has claimed the IOC had
Russia's World Championship sabre gold medallist Veniamin Reshetnikov has claimed the IOC had "discredited" itself with its stance in response to the war in Ukraine ©Getty Images

Former men's sabre individual world champion Veniamin Reshetnikov has not received neutral status to compete, but told TASS he would not have done so anyway because "the conditions set are practically impossible" and criticised the IOC for its position.

"A career is almost over, the [Paris] 2024 Games are the last chance to go and win an Olympic medal," Reshetnikov said.

"But I understand that it makes no sense because the IOC has discredited [itself] with its terms. 

"It is written that competitions are a struggle between athletes, not between countries, and as a result, we are nightmares on all fronts."

A Moscow Sabre international tournament not managed by the FIE was organised in the Russian capital open to all Russian fencers on Friday (May 26).

Italy's Government earlier this week cleared the way for Russian and Belarusian fencers to compete at the Fencing World Championships in Milan in July under a neutral banner, a decision favoured by the country's National Olympic Committee President and IOC member Giovanni Malagò.

The FIE's decision to reverse its outright ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes has proved highly controversial.

Several events in Europe have been cancelled, and countries, including Norway, have vowed not to compete at tournaments with Russian and Belarusian involvement.

Ukraine's Government reacted angrily to the IOC's updated recommendations in March which lifted a ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes, vowing to shun any Paris 2024 Olympics qualifiers where they are present.