The International Fencing Federation has canceled the mandatory handshake between athletes after the incident with the Ukrainian Olga Kharlan and the Russian, who was competing under a neutral flag.
The traditional handshake after matches, which was previously stipulated by the rules, can now be replaced by a greeting from a distance. This will allow the Ukrainians not to approach the Russians, even if they participate in a neutral status.
The executive committee of the International Fencing Federation also suspended the “black card” for Ukrainian fencer Olga Kharlan. The athlete will be able to perform in the team at the World Championship.
Ukrainian fencer Kharlan was disqualified from the World Fencing Championship for refusing to shake the hand of Russian Anna Smirnova. The fencer triumphed over her opponent with a score of 15:7. The athletes were supposed to greet each other with a handshake after the match. However, the Ukrainian refused to shake hands with Smirnova and tapped her blade instead. The Russian ignored Kharlan and staged a 50-minute protest – she remained on the fencing track, demanding the winner’s disqualification due to “disrespect.”