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1973/1976: Stateless Fencer

The President of the FIE, Pierre Ferri, issued Lawrence Gough with an FIE licence in 1972 and again in 1973. When completing the data on both of these licences, under the heading "Fédération", he inserted "Irlandaise d'Escrime".

When the IAFF were forced to issue Lawrence Gough an FIE licence in July 1973 on the basis of the findings of the International Inquiry and on the insistence of Pierre Ferri, the IAFF crossed out the section "Fédération". This created problems for Gough when entering competitions as he had no national affiliation on his FIE licence.

In January 1974, Gough wrote to the Chairman of the IAFF explaining the situation and requested that the words "issued by the Irish Amateur Fencing Federation" be inserted under the heading "Fédération". The IAFF agreed and issued the 1974 and 1975 licences as requested.

In January 1976, the Olympic year, the IAFF reverted to the 1973 format and left Lawrence Gough again a stateless athlete. This caused again unnecessary difficulties for Gough when entering competitions. Lawrence Gough held an Irish passport, was resident in West Germany and was a member of a West German fencing club - but possessed an FIE licence without a national affiliation.

Gough was a stateless fencer.


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