International Judo Federation suspends Vladimir Putin as Honorary President
Putin was awarded the 8th dan in 2012 by the IJF
The International Judo Federation has suspended Russian president Vladimir Putin's status as their Honorary President and Ambassador following the invasion of Ukraine.
As reported by the Mail, Putin is a big judo fan and describes it as his 'favourite sport' - regularly visiting IJF events, including the 2017 World Championships in Budapest and last year's event in Baku.
The 69-year-old and current president of the International Judo Federation, Marius Vizer, also watched the judo competition together during the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Putin was awarded the 8th dan in 2012 by the IJF, which saw him become the first Russian to reach that level.
However, the International Judo Federation have made the decision to distance themselves from the Russian president as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues.
The federation also announced that the 2022 Grand Slam in Kazan - due to take place between May 20 and May 22 - had been cancelled.
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.https://t.co/QQDZbF6rfd
— Judo (@Judo) February 27, 2022
Judo Federation president Marius Vizer said: "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."
According to the Ukrainian health ministry, the death toll so far in the Russian invasion of Ukraine is at least 198, with three children among those dead.
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