Ukrainian Olga Kharlan was disqualified from the World Fencing Championship because she refused to shake hands with Russian Anna Smirnova, the BBC reported today.
After the victory, Olga refused to shake hands, and the Russian woman remained on the field for another 45 minutes as a sign of protest.
In fencing, handling is mandatory, and is not left to the athletes to choose. Violation of this rule is punishable by disqualification.
The President of the Ukrainian Fencing Federation, Mykhailo Ilyashev, said that the federation will appeal the disqualification.
Igor Reizlin, another member of the Ukrainian national team at the Fencing World Cup, refused to compete against Russian Vadim Anokhin, after which he was awarded a defeat in that match.
Olga Kharlan is a four-time Olympic champion and current world champion.