"Harlan is out of line": Russian minister outraged by behaviour of Ukrainian woman who refused to shake hands with Russian woman
Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin has reacted to the disqualification of Ukrainian sabre fencer Olga Harlan from the World Championships in Milan. The official of the aggressor country called the decision of the International Fencing Federation (FIE) to punish the Olympic champion from Mykolaiv for refusing to shake hands with Russian Anna Smirnova after the tournament a correct one.
"The International Federation has made the right decision to disqualify him, ensuring equality and fair competition based on the rules of the sport. Such incidents are unacceptable. Harlan's behaviour goes beyond sports ethics," the head of the Russian Ministry of Sport told Match TV.
We would like to remind you that Olga Harlan defeated Russia's Anna Smirnova in the round of 32 of the 2023 World Cup in Milan. After the fight, our compatriot refused to shake hands with her opponent, putting her saber forward. The "neutral" athlete immediately staged a real circus, refusing to leave the track.
The Russian representative lodged a protest against the outcome of the duel, accusing the Ukrainian of violating the rules. But it was rejected and Harlan was declared the winner.
Later, the propaganda TV channel Match TV published a photo of a denunciation that Anna Smirnova had written against Olga at the World Cup.
"The refusal of an opponent to salute the opponent, the referee and the audience before the start of the fight or after the last blow is punishable by a black card. After the fight, Olga Harlan refused to shake hands with Anna Smirnova and must be punished! Harlan refused to shake hands! This should not have happened, and it is a violation of the rules!" wrote the sabre fencer.
After that, the leadership of the International Fencing Federation (FIE), which was headed by Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov before the war in Ukraine, disqualified Olga.
And the head of the Russian Fencing Federation, Ilgar Mamedov, said that the Ukrainian had received a black card and would be suspended from competitions for up to two months.
OBOZREVATEL also reported that Smirnova's brother serves in the Russian army, which the international federation turned a blind eye to.