Ysaora Thibus talks to her coach during the FIE World Fencing Championships. GETTY IMAGES

Five months before the Olympic Games, French fencer Ysaora Thibus, 2022 World Champion, has been provisionally suspended by the International Fencing Federation. As the French Fencing Federation (FFE) announced on Friday, this is due to an abnormal anti-doping test carried out on 14 January.

The 32-year-old fencer expressed her "total incomprehension, immense surprise and devastation". The provisional suspension does not mean that she will be disqualified from the Paris Games, which take place from 26 July to 11 August.

The fencer must now provide "proof that the violation probably involved a contaminated substance or that the violation involved abus of a substance", as stated in article 7.4.1 of the International Federation.

However, the reduction of the suspension is subject to the completion of a "substance abuse treatment programme approved by the FIE", as stated in Article can be reduced to three months or even to a one-month suspension. Time is of the essence for the fencer who denies any intentional doping.

The test, which was carried out during a stage of the World Championships in Paris, must now be followed by a second expert opinion to confirm or refute the initial results. The French fencing team is awaiting the results. Nine times French champion in foil and silver medallist in the team event at Tokyo 2021, the shooter is one of the leaders of French fencing.

Since the revival of the Olympic Games at the end of the 19th century, this discipline has been the main source of medals for the French contingent. France has won 123 medals.