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"Disrespect" to Russian: Ukraine prepares protest against disqualification of Ukrainian fencer

Thursday, 27 July 2023, 16:23
Disrespect to Russian: Ukraine prepares protest against disqualification of Ukrainian fencer
Olha Kharlan. Photo: Facebook

The Fencing Federation of Ukraine is preparing a protest against the disqualification of Ukrainian fencer Olha Kharlan from the World Championship for refusing to shake hands with her Russian opponent.

Source: Suspilne Sport citing Mykhailo Illiashev, President of the Fencing Federation of Ukraine, on air of Ukraine’s national 24/7 newscast

Quote: "We are preparing a protest; we will appeal this decision."


Details: Illiashev says that there is no question of returning Kharlan to the World Championship. The federation will try to lift her disqualification from future competitions.

Quote: "The disqualification means that it would be impossible for her to perform in the team competitions, which will be held in a few days in Milan. And it is important for us that our team performs. There will be no so-called 'neutral' athletes in the team competitions anyway."

Details: The President of the Fencing Federation of Ukraine said that he is currently at the competition. As far as he knows, the judge who directly worked on the match between the Ukrainian and the Russian women did not give Kharlan the so-called black card; that is, he did not disqualify her. The "undercover games" began later: the disqualification appeared after Kharlan's next opponent was determined, and even a judge was appointed for the next fight.


Illiashev hopes that the appeal review will be completed in a few days.

At the same time, Mykhailo Podoliak, adviser to the head of the Office of the President, tweeted a photo of the Russian fencer Anna Smirnova, who caused the scandal. In the picture, she is posing in a Russian military winter hat, and a man in a Russian military uniform stands beside her.

"As we see, Smirnova openly admires the Russian army, which kills Ukrainians and destroys our cities," Podoliak commented on the photo.

It is not known when the photo was taken.

For reference: The rules of the International Fencing Federation have only one interpretation of disqualification, which involves disqualification from competitions and suspension for 60 days from all further competitions. That is, the Ukrainian fencer has to miss the team fencing tournament, where there are no neutral representatives from Russia and Belarus.

Background: Ukrainian fencer Olha Kharlan was disqualified from the World Fencing Championships in Milan for not showing "respect" to a Russian after winning the duel.

After the fight, she refused to shake Smirnova's hand.

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