Russian leader suspended as honourary president of world judo federation

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting of big businesses at the Kremlin in Moscow on February 24, 2022. – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said his country wanted to remain part of the world economy and had no plans to harm it. Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, killing dozens and triggering warnings from Western leaders of unprecedented sanctions. Russian air strikes hit military installations across the country and ground forces moved in from the north, south and east, forcing many Ukrainians flee their homes to the sounds of bombing. (Photo by Alexey NIKOLSKY / SPUTNIK / AFP)

The world judo governing body (IJU) has taken personal action against Russian President Vladimir Putin following the invasion of Ukraine.

“In light of the ongoing war (conflict) in Ukraine, the International Judo Federation announces the suspension of Mr Vladimir Putin’s status as Honorary President and Ambassador of the International Judo Federation,” it said in a statement on Sunday.

Putin is a keen judo player and has reached the level of black belt in the sport.

Russia has a huge influence in judo with IJU president Marius Vizer considered a friend of Putin and the European governing body is led by Russian Sergey Soloveychik.

Both bodies receive considerable sponsorship from Russia.

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The planned Grand Slam in Kazan in May was cancelled on Friday.

Russia is becoming increasingly isolated in the sports world but global football governing body FIFA has not yet responded to increasing concern and development regarding the matter.

Poland and Sweden have said they would not play against Russia in the play-offs for the World Cup in Qatar.

European football ruling body UEFA has already said matches cannot be played in Russia or Ukraine.

Also, it is set to consider the sponsorship deal it has with Russian state firm Gazprom.

Hans-Joachim Watzke, interim president of the German federation, said it was “dirty money” that “we cannot take any more”.

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Presidential candidate Peter Peters said it was “a clear yes” to ending the cooperation.

Gazprom sponsors the UEFA Champions League and Euro 2024 in Germany but Schalke 04, a second division side, have already removed their name from their shirts.

Volleyball is one of the few sports still considering a major event in Russia with the men’s world championships scheduled for August.

This is under review though, with some nations saying they will not travel to Russia to take part.

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