Russian woman who set up Kharlan was demanded to be stripped of her neutral status and suspended from tournaments
The Fencing Federation of Ukraine (FFU) has appealed to the International Fencing Federation (FIE) to exclude Russian sabre fencer Anna Smirnova from the list of neutral athletes. The reason is called non-compliance of the 23-year-old native of Barnaul with this status. FFU demanded to suspend Smirnova from participation in competitions under the aegis of the FIE.
"Anna Smirnova's activity on Instagram, where she openly demonstrates verbal and non-verbal support for the Russian army is a symbol of aggression against Ukraine, showing that she is by no means a neutral athlete and has never been one," the FFU said in a statement on Facebook.
As reported by OBOZREVATEL, Kharlan defeated Russian Anna Smirnova in 1/32 World Championships 2023 in Milan. Our compatriot refused to shake hands with her opponent after the fight, who went crazy and refused to leave the track.
The representative of the Russian Federation filed a protest against the result of the duel, which was then rejected. The propaganda channel Match TV published a photo of the appeal that Anna Smirnova wrote on Olha. As a result, the FIE disqualified Kharlan from the World Cup-2023, but the next day suspended its decision.
Our saberist herself noted that she was simply shocked by the decision to exclude her from the tournament.
After the scandal, there was photographic evidence that Anna is not a "neutral" athlete, as required by the competition regulations. The brother of the representative of the aggressor country is a military man. She is very proud of him, which is evident from the joint photos.
We note that a full explanation of Smirnova's attempt to set up Kharlan appeared the day before.