IOC makes sensational decision on Kharlan after she was disqualified for refusing to shake hands with Russian woman at World Cup
Ukrainian fencer Olha Kharlan has been given the opportunity to compete at the 2024 Paris Olympics even if she fails to qualify for the tournament. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) thus supported our compatriot after she was suspended from the 2023 World Cup in Milan for refusing to shake hands with her Russian rival.
This is stated in a letter from IOC President Thomas Bach, which was posted on his Facebook page by Vadym Gutzeit, President of the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine. In his letter to Olha, the IOC chief expressed regret over her disqualification from the championship and the fact that she had lost important points to qualify for the Olympic Games.
"Given your unique situation, the IOC will allocate you an additional quota for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris in the event that you are unable to qualify in the remaining period. We are making this unique exception also because current procedures do not in any way compensate for the qualification points you have lost due to your disqualification," Bach said.
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.