Vladimir Putin suspended as honorary president of International Judo Federation

By Sports Desk February 27, 2022

Vladimir Putin's status as honorary president and ambassador of the International Judo Federation (IJF) has been suspended.

The IJF announced the decision on Sunday in light of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Putin ordered Russia to invade Ukraine on Thursday following weeks of rising political tensions in the region.

The conflict has continued to escalate, with the fighting reaching the country's second-largest city, Kharkiv, on Sunday.

Russia's invasion has received international condemnation, including in the sporting world. St Petersburg was stripped of the right to host this season's Champions League final by UEFA, while Formula One removed the Russian Grand Prix from its 2022 calendar.

Several high-profile sports figures have publicly expressed their opposition to war, including Russia's Andrey Rublev, who wrote "no war please" on a camera lens at the Dubai Tennis Championships, joining compatriot Daniil Medvedev in calling for peace.

Putin's suspension from his honorary role with the IJF follows its decision to cancel the 2022 Grand Slam that was due to be held in Kazan from May 20-22.

Announcing the cancellation on Friday, IJF president Marius L. Vizer said in a statement: "We are saddened by the current international situation, the result of inefficient dialogue at international level.

"We, the sports community, must remain united and strong, to support each other and our universal values, in order to always promote peace and friendship, harmony and unity.

"The judo family hopes that the current unrest can be solved in the last moment, to re-establish normality and stability in Eastern Europe and the world, to once again be able to focus on the diverse cultures, history and legacy of Europe, in the most positive way."

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