International Federation overturns Kharlan's World Cup disqualification
Ukrainian sabre fencer Olha Kharlan will be able to compete in the team event at the 2023 World Championships in Milan. The International Fencing Federation (FIE) has decided to suspend the disqualification of our athlete from the championship for refusing to shake hands with Russian Anna Smirnova.
This was reported by the authoritative publication La Repubblica. The FIE Executive Committee took note of our compatriot's appeal and cancelled the so-called black card. In particular, the federation agreed that Kharlan had the right not to shake hands with her opponent, as the cordial protocol is still in place at the Milan Championships, according to which fencers greet each other by touching blades.
In addition, the FIE responded to the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) call to respect the position of Ukrainian athletes who refuse to welcome Russians and Belarusians.
As a result, Kharlan will be able to take part in the 2023 World Cup team tournament, which is crucial for qualification for the 2024 Olympic Games. By the way, Olga received a special invitation from the IOC to compete in Paris in the individual competition. It should be noted that the Ukrainian national team will face Uzbekistan in the first round of the World Championships on 29 July.
As a reminder, Kharlan refused to greet Russia's Anna Smirnova in the 1/32 finals of the 2023 World Cup, after which the Russian staged a real circus, refusing to leave the track. She lodged a protest against the outcome of the duel, which was rejected. At the same time, the Russian representative does not meet the criteria of a neutral athlete, openly supporting the Russian Armed Forces.
The Ukrainian Fencing Federation stood up for Kharlan and is preparing to appeal her disqualification. Our sabre fencer herself said that she was simply killed by the decision to exclude her from the tournament. She also said that she would not take part in the team tournament.
As OBOZREVATEL previously reported, Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin said that Kharlan had crossed all boundaries by refusing to congratulate her rival from the aggressor country. And the president of the Russian Olympic Committee, Stanislav Pozdnyakov, accused the IOC of showing "sensitivity and delicacy" to the Ukrainian.