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December 4, 2022
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International Judo Federation suspend honorary president Putin

On Sunday, Vladimir Putin lost his most senior official position in international sports for the time being.

Putin’s honorary president title was suspended by the International Judo Federation, citing “the current military crisis in Ukraine.”

The Russian president is an accomplished judoka who competed in the 2012 London Olympics.

The IJF is one of the few Olympic sports organisations to use the word “war” to characterise Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which Putin ordered on Thursday. Others have used terms like “conflict escalation.”

Arkady Rotenberg, a Kremlin-friendly businessman and lifelong Putin pal, continues on the IJF executive committee as “development manager.”

Marius Vizer, the IJF president, said in Friday’s 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 reestablish 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.”

The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) also announced on Saturday that the Russian and Belarusian national flags will not be shown, and the two nations’ anthems will not be sung at any FIG sanctioned event “after the Russian military invasion of Ukraine.”
All World Cup and World Challenge Cup events scheduled for Russia and Belarus have been cancelled, and “no other FIG events will be allocated to Russia or Belarus till further notice,” according to the FIG.

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