Vadim Anokhin, left, is among seven Russian fencers that are set to compete as neutrals in Milan ©Getty Images

A total of seven Russian fencers are set to compete under a neutral flag at the Fencing World Championships in Milan where the Ukrainian team are also due to feature.

Vadim Anokhin, a 2017 European team gold medallist, has been named in the men’s épée category along with Artem Sarkisyan.

They are the only Russian fencers down to compete in the men’s events with none in the foil and sabre categories.

Russia has representation in each of the individual female categories, with Iana Bekmurzova and Polina Khaertdinova listed on the épée entry list.

Alena Lisina and Anna Smirnova are due to feature in the women’s sabre division, while Leyla Pirieva is the lone Russian in the women’s foil category.

Pirieva has been cleared to compete despite claims by non-Government affiliated Base of Ukrainian Sports that she demonstrated support for the war in Ukraine.

A video by the UkrSportBase shows Pirieva liking a photo on Instagram of an awards ceremony youth tournament, called "Sabres of the Russian North".

Behind the medallists in the photo is the "Z" symbol which has become associated with the country's military and pro-war nationalist propaganda since last year's invasion of Ukraine.

insidethegames has contacted the International Fencing Federation (FIE) for comment.

Ukrainian athletes did not feature in any of the categories where Russians are present in protest at their readmission.

Vasyl Humen, Oleksiy Statsenko, Yuriy Tsap and Andriy Yagodka are down to represent Ukraine in the men’s sabre event, while Danyil Hoida, Ievgen Lazarenko, Andrii Pogrebniak and Klod Yunes are poised to contest for medals in the men’s foil category.

There will also be Ukrainian representation in all of the team competitions with Russians and Belarusians barred from competing in those.

A group of 39 athletes from Russia and Belarus had registered for this year’s World Championships but only 11 have been permitted by the Italian Government to compete as neutrals at the event.

Among the Russians blocked from the World Championships is Sofia Pozdniakova, winner of the Olympic individual and team gold medals at Tokyo 2020.

Ukrainian fencers are only contesting categories which do not feature Russians ©Getty Images
Ukrainian fencers are only contesting categories which do not feature Russians ©Getty Images

She is the daughter of Russian Olympic Committee President Stanislav Pozdnyakov, himself a four-time Olympic champion and former head of the European Fencing Confederation before being deposed following his conduct in light of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The FIE received a backlash when it agreed to allow Belarusian athletes to return to its competitions.

It came before the International Olympic Committee ruled that athletes from Russia and Belarus should be considered for readmission, provided they do not the support the war in Ukraine and are not affiliated with the military.

Organisers of World Cup competitions in Bonn and Tauberbischofsheim in Germany, Poznań in Poland and Saint-Maur-des-Fossés in France all decided to pull the plug in response to the FIE’s contentious decision.

The FIE also stripped the European Games in Kraków-Małopolska of its Olympic qualification status for individual events after Russian and Belarusian athletes were barred from participating in Poland.

Competition at the Fencing World Championships is set to run from tomorrow until July 30.