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

PlayStation leader Jim Ryan to retire after 28 years with Sony

Jim Ryan, the head of PlayStation and CEO of Sony, is stepping down. In a press release on Wednesday, Sony announced that Ryan will retire in March 2024, while Sony Group Corporation president and chief operating officer Hiroki Totoki will become the interim CEO of Sony...

NFL Injuries Week 4: Tracking Every Injury, Including the Latest on Jaylen Waddle, Austin Ekeler, David Montgomery, and Christian Watson

Injuries are an unfortunate reality of NFL life, but everyone who follows the league — fantasy football players, sports bettors, and fans of teams — wants the latest health information. In that vein, we’re tracking every NFL injury ahead of Week 4. Let’s review the injury report...

MTG and Boebert Try to Out-Troll Each Other Days Away From a Shutdown

With a government shutdown four days away, thanks largely to House Republicans’ inability to stop fighting amongst themselves, far-right Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert thought it important to focus on their pet grievances on Wednesday. Greene successfully used the Holman rule to attach an...

Lina Khan vs. Jeff Bezos: This Is Big Tech’s Real Cage Match

Jeff Bezos made his fortune with one truly big idea: What if a retailer did everything possible to make customers happy?His forcefully nurtured creation, Amazon, sold as many items as possible as cheaply as possible and delivered them as quickly as possible. The result is that...

Barry Manilow Beats Elvis Presley’s Record for Most Shows at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino

<!-- --> Barry Manilow Beats Elvis Presley's Record for Most Shows at Westgate Las Vegas ...

Counter-Strike 2 Just Officially Launched – IGN

Valve surprised everyone when it announced earlier this year that it was making a Counter-Strike 2 - and after months of limited testing, it's now available for PC players via Steam. The company announced the news with a new trailer today, which you can watch—...

Latest Hipkins v Luxon debate: Former Cabinet ministers’ verdicts

Two former Cabinet ministers have given their verdicts after last night's Newshub leaders' debate, with both giving Labour leader Chris Hipkins credit but projecting a loss for his party in the upcoming election.Iain Lees-Galloway (Labour) and Wayne Mapp (National) joined Breakfast this morning to discuss the...

WSJ News Exclusive | UAW Threatens More Strikes as GM, Stellantis Try to Keep Repair Parts Flowing

UAW Threatens More Strikes as GM, Stellantis Try to Keep Repair Parts Flowing - WSJ  The Wall Street JournalUAW Auto strike affecting San Diego auto repair shops, customers  CBS 8 San DiegoUAW Strike Has the Big 3 Automakers Scrambling for Parts – MishTalk  Mish TalkCar shop managers concerned over...

HBO’s Casey Bloys On End Of Writers Strike: “I’m Happy It’s Done”

Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for HBO Casey Bloys is the first senior executive to address the end of the strike publicly. Chairman and CEO of HBO and Max Content Bloys said that he’s happy that the writers strike is over. “I’m happy it’s past us,” he said at...

Deandre Ayton era over in Phoenix: Suns trade big to Blazers, Damian Lillard headed to Bucks

The Deandre Ayton era in Phoenix is over.The Suns have traded Ayton to Portland as part of a three-team deal that sent Blazer All-Star Damian Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks, sources confirmed Wednesday afternoon with The Arizona Republic.ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski first tweeted the news Wednesday. The...

Meta’s smart glasses can take calls, play music, and livestream from your face

Meta’s smart glasses are not called “Stories” anymore. They’re just called smart glasses now. Technically, the new model Meta just announced is called the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses, and the company will happily correct you anytime you call them something else, but these are simply smart...

FTX Chief Once Met With Powell. Now D.C. Crypto Lobbyists Are Struggling.

Cryptocurrency lobbyists were riding so high in early 2022 that an FTX executive felt comfortable directly emailing Jerome H. Powell, the chair of the Federal Reserve, to ask him to meet with Sam Bankman-Fried, the soon-to-be-disgraced founder of the cryptocurrency exchange.It worked.“The day that would work...