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International Fencing Federation decides to cancel mandatory handshake

Saturday, 29 July 2023, 12:41
International Fencing Federation decides to cancel mandatory handshake

The International Fencing Federation (FIE) has changed the rules regarding the mandatory handshake after the incident with Ukrainian fencer Olha Kharlan.

Source: La Repubblica

Details: FIE announced at the conference that due to the scandal on Thursday, the traditional handshake after the end of fights will be allowed to be replaced with a long-distance greeting.


It will allow Ukrainians not to approach Russians, even if they compete in a neutral status.


  • On 26 July, the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine stopped boycotting international competitions with the participation of Russians and Belarusians in a neutral status and allowed Ukrainian athletes to compete at such championships.
  • On 27 July, Ukrainian fencer Olha Kharlan was disqualified from the World Fencing Championships in Milan for the lack of "respect" for her Russian opponent after winning the match. Kharlan defeated Russian fencer Anna Smirnova at the start of the tournament, but after the fight ended, she refused to shake her hand.
  • Olha Kharlan stated that it is impossible to force peace, and the rules in the sports world must change according to reality.
  • The executive committee of the International Fencing Federation (FIE) overruled the black card given to Ukrainian fencer Olha Kharlan. Now she can take part in the team competition at the World Championships.

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