HomeSportsDisqualification of Ukraine fencer...

Disqualification of Ukraine fencer Kharlan reversed – DW – 07/29/2023

The International Fencing Federation (FIE) on Friday reversed its decision to disqualify Ukrainian fencer Olga Kharlan, allowing her to participate in the upcoming team competition.

She was also awarded a spot at the 2024 Paris Olympics by Thomas Bach, the head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Kharlan had been disqualified during the fencing world championships in Milan, Italy, after she refused to shake hands with her Russian opponent Anna Smirnova — who was competing as a neutral athlete — after defeating her 15-7 in the saber competition. Fencing rules state that competitors must shake hands after a bout.

Smirnova immediately approached Kharlan with hand extended, but the Ukrainian simply held out her saber toward the Russian.

Smirnova staged a 45-minute protest after the incident, refusing to leave the piste. Kharlan’s disqualification meant she was denied ranking points toward Olympic qualification.

IOC President Bach calls for ‘sensitivity’ toward Ukrainian athletes

In a letter to Kharlan, IOC President Bach wrote, “Given your unique situation, the International Olympic Committee will allocate an additional quota place to you for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 in case you will not be able to qualify in the remaining period.”

The guarantee was necessitated by the fact that each sport has a strictly fixed number of spots at its disposal. Kharlan, 32, is a four-time Olympic medalist.

Bach acknowledged the “roller coaster of emotions and feelings” Kharlan was likely experiencing and called for “sensitivity” when it came to the issue of Ukrainian and Russian athletes competing against one another at international sporting events.

Kharlan (l) said she was told a blade touch would suffice as a gesture of sportsmanshipImage: CLAUDIA GRECO/REUTERS

Russian Olympic Committee president rails against ‘duplicitous’ IOC

The head of Russia’s Olympic Committee on Friday accused the IOC of picking sides on the issue. “The statement in question indicates that the IOC determined for itself and picked a side in the political conflict, [and] began to act in the interests of this side,” wrote Stanislav Pozdnyakov on the messaging service Telegram.

Pozdnyakov railed against the “duplicity” of the IOC and continued by writing: “Now we have been involuntarily but clearly shown the attitude which absolutely any Russian will face at international competitions.”

Russian invasion put athletes and sporting bodies in difficult spot

The IOC has struggled to manage the fallout from Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine in dealing with athletes from Russia and neighboring ally Belarus.

Sporting bans were initially leveled, though later Russian and Belarus athletes were allowed to compete as “neutrals,” meaning they were not allowed to wear national insignias, nor would their national anthems be played at events.

The decision unnerved Ukraine, which barred its athletes from competitions where Russians and Belarusians were allowed to compete. It remains unclear whether the IOC will allow Moscow’s or Minsk’s athletes to participate as neutrals in the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics.   

Calls for IOC to ban Russia from Olympics

This browser does not support the video element.

Kharlan: ‘We’ll never shake hands with them’

Kharlan said she had asked FIE Interim President Emmanuel Katsiadakis about the handshake before her bout and claims she was assured she would be allowed to offer a blade touch rather than a handshake after the match without fear of disqualification. “I thought I had his word, to be safe, but apparently, no,” she said after the incident.

Despite the drama surrounding the controversy, Kharlan says she “really made the right choice. There is something more important than medals — my country, my family.”

Kharlan, who received support from the government, athletes, celebrities and frontline soldiers, said, “My message today is that we Ukrainian athletes are ready to face Russians on the sports field but we will never shake hands with them.”

Ukrainian tennis star Elina Svitolina was one of those who spoke up in defense of Kharlan’s actions, saying it was “the right thing to do for our people.”

Svitolina, who has also courted controversy by refusing to engage with Russian opponents who approached the net with extended hand despite her clear statements that she would not shake them, accused Smirnova of provoking Kharlan, asking, “Why don’t Russians respect our position?” 

IOC seeks way for Russians to compete at Paris Olympics

This browser does not support the video element.

js/sri (AFP, AP)

Source link

Most Popular


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More from Author

Read Now

Stock futures inch lower Tuesday night as investors await fresh inflation data: Live updates

An Hour AgoInvestors should eye emerging markets and small caps outside of the 'Magnificent 7' stocks, Richard Bernstein says Investors should turn their attention to alternative investments including small caps and emerging markets outside of the "Magnificent 7" stocks, according to Richard Bernstein Advisors chief Richard...

Bears offer hint at Justin Fields-Caleb Williams decision while trying to say nothing

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Bears maintain that they arrived in Indianapolis for the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine still early in the information-gathering stage of their franchise-defining quarterback journey. Both general manager Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus talked Tuesday in Indianapolis, painting a picture of a...

Crosstown Trade: White Sox and Cubs swap pitchers

The White Sox and Cubs swapped minor-league pitchers, the South Side announced. The Cubs are sending Bailey Horn to the White Sox in exchange for Matt Thompson. The trade helps the Cubs open a roster spot for Cody Bellinger, who they recently re-signed to the tune...

A surge fee on your Frosty? Wendy’s to test ‘dynamic pricing’ in 2025.

The deals at Wendy’s may soon not be as square as their burgers.The fast-food chain is set to start experimenting with dynamic pricing at company-owned stores next year. Wendy’s CEO Kirk Tanner said the company will soon spend $20 million to swap in digital menu boards,...

Gary Sinise’s Son Mac Dies Of Rare Cancer At 33

Gary Sinise foundation McCanna “Mac” Anthony Sinise, the musician son of actor Gary Sinise, has died of the rare spinal cancer Chordoma, the Forrest Gump star announced today. Mac Sinise, who had recently completed work on his album Resurrection & Revival, died on January 5 following a years-long...

No, No, No, Rep. Ken Buck Doesn’t Want Biden Impeached, Just Kicked Out Of Office For Being Old

None of them can be trusted, Part The CXLVII. From Politico:Buck's (R-Colo.) resolution urges Harris to convene the Cabinet to “declare what is obvious to a horrified Nation: That the President is unable to successfully discharge the duties and powers of his office.” The retiring conservative...

MWC 2024: Everything announced so far, including HTC’s VR headset, ‘rollable’ Motorola concept phone | TechCrunch

The TechCrunch team is in Barcelona this week to bring you all the action going on at Mobile World Congress 2024. You already know what we’re expecting, so sit back, relax and stay tuned throughout the week as we bring you the products, announcements and startup...

You can save $20 on several Nintendo Switch games for Pokémon Day

Oh, would you look at that. It’s Pokémon Day, an annual celebration commemorating the game’s launch on this very day in 1996. Fun fact: Pokémon was first a video game, but it was quickly adapted as a trading card game and anime, both of which are...

Palestinian Authority gets a shake-up, but Abbas clings to power

JERUSALEM — The wholesale resignation of the Palestinian prime minister and his cabinet Monday set the stage for a “revitalized” Palestinian Authority, seen by the United States as a crucial player in governing postwar Gaza.Even a clean sweep of ministers would make little difference to the...