Evidence emerges that Russia ordered the International Federation to disqualify Kharlan. Video
Ukrainian fencer Olha Kharlan was disqualified from the 2023 World Championships after Russia put pressure on the tournament organisers. Our compatriot refused to shake hands with Anna Smirnova, which provoked an angry reaction from representatives of the aggressor country.
This is evidenced by a video published by the Pravda Gerashchenko Telegram channel. The video shows the Russian national team coach Alexei Tikhomirov handing over the phone to Dieter Lammer, the head of the International Fencing Federation's (FIE) technical director. After a conversation with an unknown person, the official returned the smartphone to Smirnova's coach and decided to disqualify Kharlan.
It should be noted that before Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the president of the FIE was Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov. He was included in the sanctions lists of the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States, and was subsequently removed from office.
As a reminder, Olha refused to shake hands with Russian Anna Smirnova after the World Cup last 16 match. This angered the Ukrainian's rival, who staged a real circus - she brought a chair onto the track and refused to leave the court.
The Russian representative lodged a protest against the outcome of the duel, which was rejected. The propaganda TV channel Match TV published a photo of the denunciation that Smirnova wrote against Olga. The Ukrainian later admitted what she said to the Russian after the fight.
It should be noted that Smirnova is not a "neutral" athlete, as required by the competition regulations. The representative of the aggressor country's brother is a soldier, and she is very proud of him, as can be seen from their joint photos.
As OBOZREVATEL previously reported, following a public outcry, the international federation cancelled Olga Kharlan's disqualification from the championship and also amended the rules for the fights. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) allowed the Ukrainian to participate in the 2024 Games.