Olympic gold medallist Olga Kharlan admitted the FIE decision "crippled her morally" ©Getty Images

Olympic fencing gold medallist Olga Kharlan has revealed that she "felt empty inside," after the International Fencing Federation (FIE) decision to permit Russian and Belarusian fencers to return to competition in time for Olympic qualification events.

Kharlan was beaten by Hungary's Anna Marton in the tableau of 16 at the FIE World Cup in St Niklas, Belgium, in her most recent tournament.

"These two weeks were hell for me, I wanted to properly prepare for these competitions, the last ones before selection for the Olympics," Kharlan said.

"The weekend turned out to be very emotional, because after this decision we do not know how to react, when this decision was made, it severely crippled me morally, therefore, I was not mentally prepared for these competitions."

The Ukraine team fought back to win an emotional bronze medal in the team event after defeating the top ranked French team en route to the semi-finals.

"We talked with the girls, I said bad words, I can't repeat them now, but I said we can beat them and It worked," Kharlan added.

Kharlan won team sabre gold at Beijing 2008 and is hoping to qualify for her fifth Olympics, but the Fencing Federation of Ukraine has announced that it will boycott competitions if there are competitors from Russia and Belarus.

"We really wanted to show something and these were the last competitions where we can feel free, because we don't know what will happen next, we don't know whether we will go to the competitions or not," Kharlan continued.

"If someone thinks that it does not affect us in any way, it is not true, I can say personally about myself, it affects me very much."

Earlier this month the FIE voted at an Extraordinary Congress by 85 votes to 51 to allow Russian and Belarusian fencers to return.

Kharlan remains convinced that there is great support for Ukraine within the fencing community.

"We were depressed and everyone approached, sympathised and said that they were with us," Kharlan insisted.

"Many countries are against such a decision, leading countries in the world of fencing, if they support us in our decision to boycott, not to fence, if not, it will be ten times more difficult to deal with it,"

In a social media post Kharlan spoke of "disappointment, anger and injustice," and asked "what has changed?"

She ended with an emotional message: “Someday it will be a light and victory and maybe some day I will believe in a better world again."

This week Finland cancelled an FIE tournament scheduled for Turku in September, whilst the Polish Federation admitted that next month's World Cup event in Poznan, the first at which the FIE ruling comes into force, might also be in jeopardy.