Russian Olympic champion blames Kharlan for the wave of "hatred and threats" against the compatriot after World Cup scandal
The President of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Stanislav Pozdnyakov outraged by the granting of Olha Kharlan to participate in the 2024 Games in Paris. The official from the aggressor country criticized our fencer for refusing to shake hands with Anna Smirnova of the Russian Federation at the 2023 World Championships.
Pozdnyakov said this in an interview with the TASS propaganda news agency. The four-time Olympic champion added that Russian neutral athletes are not safe at international competitions, and Smirnova faced "hatred and threats" because of Kharlan.
"The decision to allocate a separate quota to Ksarlan was surprising, to say the least. How can this motivate those boys and girls who are picking up a rapier, sword or saber today and taking their first steps? And I'm not just talking about Russia. This is a gesture of double or even triple standards. I hope that this is the first and last time such an incident has happened. On the other hand, this episode showed that our neutral athletes are under threat, including physical threats. How much hatred and threats did Anna Smirnova receive after that?" Pozdnyakov said.
As a reminder, Kharlan refused to shake hands with Smirnova after winning at the 2023 World Cup. In response, the representative of the aggressor country staged a show, refusing to leave the track. She filed a protest against the result, which was rejected. The Ukrainian was later disqualified by the FIS under pressure from Russia.
The Russian representative does not meet the criteria of a neutral athlete, openly supporting the Russian Armed Forces. In an interview with OBOZREVATEL, Olha Kharlan admitted what she felt after her disqualification from the World Championships, following the refusal to shake hands with a Russian woman.
As OBOZREVATEL previously reported, Olha Kharlan expressed confidence that the International Fencing Federation (FIS) would pair her with Russian Anna Smirnova at the 2023 World Cup on purpose to demonstrate friendship between nations and the inadmissibility of politicizing sports.