"She hasn't invented anything new": Lavrov outraged by Kharlan's refusal to shake hands with Russian at the World Cup, recalling the rules
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova suddenly started talking about the need to adhere to universally recognised rules. The diplomat from the aggressor country mentioned this after fencer Olga Kharlan refused to shake hands with her Russian rival Anna Smirnova and the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) reaction to this.
On the propaganda TV channel Match TV, Zakharova accused the IOC and its president, Thomas Bach, of double standards and supporting Ukrainians, forgetting about the shameful war her country had unleashed. A spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Kharlan had "made up her own rules" for the Fencing World Cup.
"We need to ask the IOC, Bach himself, and sports officials: will we have teams and players who are outside the rules? This is already happening now. And not only with the Ukrainian fencer who is inventing her own rules of conduct in sports, but also with the same Americans who are starting to participate in women's or men's sports, sending transgender people there and proving that they are new wives or husbands. In sports, there is a single concept of rules, regulations and standards. Without these, there is no sport! The Ukrainian fencer has not invented anything new," Zakharova said.
It will be recalled that Kharnal refused to congratulate Smirnova after winning the 2023 World Cup in the 1/32 finals, after which the Russian staged a real circus, refusing to leave the track. She lodged a protest against the result 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 World Cup organisers framed Olga and disqualified her from the tournament. The Ukrainian Fencing Federation stood up for Kharlan and is preparing to appeal her disqualification. The sabre fencer herself said that the decision to exclude her from the tournament simply killed her. She also said that she would not take part in the team tournament.
For his part, Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matitsyn 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 International Olympic Committee (IOC) of showing "sensitivity and delicacy" to the Ukrainian.
As OBOZREVATEL previously reported, MP and Olympic wrestling champion Zhan Beleniuk said that Kharlan and the International Fencing Federation (FIE) had initially agreed to a deal that provided for a refusal to shake hands with the Russian. Later, the head coach of the Ukrainian national fencing team, Natalia Konrad, explained what actually happened to Kharlan.