The fencing coach of olympic epee gold medalist Katrina Lehis was ejected from the hall at a competition in Saku at the weekend, for verbally threatening an umpire.
The coach, Nikolai Novosjolov, also a two-time world champion in his own right, was shown the red card – in fencing in fact a black card – after threatening an umpire who was officiating in a match his daughter, whom he also coaches, was taking part in.
Novosjolov is also barred from attending a competitive fencing event for two months.
Dmitri Valiulin, the international umpire in question and who also showed Novosjolov the black card, said: "Estonian coaches have received black cards abroad, and competitors themselves have done so in Estonia, but as far as I remember, our coaches have managed to avoid the harshest punishment in their homeland," Delfi Sport reports (link in Estonian).
Novosjolov's daughter had lost a match which meant her opponent progressed to the quarter finals, while the situation escalated and culminated in Novosjolov verbally threatening to attack Valiulin physically.
While Valiulin gave Novosjolov an opportunity to apologize first, the latter refused, leading to him being ejected from the hall.
Fencing rules forbid the criticism or insult of officials or attempting to influence their actions, with serious infringements as in this case leading to the black card and ejection from the hall, followed by a 60-day ban on taking part in any fencing competition.
Editor: Andrew Whyte