The International Judo Federation suspends the status of honorary president of Vladimir Putin

Rocio Munoz-Ledo

(CNN) — The International Judo Federation (IJF) has suspended Vladimir Putin’s status as the federation’s honorary president and ambassador due to the “ongoing armed conflict in Ukraine,” the sport’s governing body announced this week. Sunday.

“In light of the ongoing war conflict in Ukraine, the International Judo Federation announces the suspension of the status of Mr. Vladimir Putin as honorary president and ambassador of the International Judo Federation,” the statement read.

On Friday, the IJF canceled the 2022 Grand Slam in Kazan, Russia, which was due to take place from May 20-22.

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Marius Vizer, president of the IJF, said in Friday’s statement: “We are saddened by the current international situation, the result of inefficient dialogue at the international level. We, the sports community, must remain united and strong, to support each other and our universal values, to always promote peace and friendship, harmony and unity.

“The judo family hopes that the current unrest can be resolved at the last moment, to restore normalcy and stability in Eastern Europe and the world, so that we can once again focus on the diverse cultures, history and heritage of Europe. , in the most positive way.”

It comes as the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) also announced that the national flags of Russia and Belarus will not be displayed, and the anthems of the two countries will not be played at any FIG-sanctioned event “after the Russian military invasion of Ukraine,” the sport’s governing body announced this Saturday.

The FIG has canceled all World Cup and World Challenge Cup events scheduled for Russia and Belarus, saying “no other FIG events will be assigned to Russia or Belarus until further notice.”

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The FIG added in a statement: “All FIG-sanctioned events planned for Russia and Belarus are removed from the FIG calendar and will no longer be recognized by the FIG. No other events taking place in Russia and Belarus will be sanctioned by the FIG until further notice.”

In his statement, FIG President Morinari Watanabe said: “As the governing body of sport, our first duty is to protect all our athletes, including protecting them from political pressure. Our thoughts are with the members of the gymnastics community in Ukraine. Sport is friendship and solidarity.

“We must show solidarity with our family members who are desperate and offer them a helping hand to secure their future. The FIG will ask the FIG Solidarity Foundation to allocate special aid to support Ukrainian athletes and other members of the war-hit Ukrainian Gymnastics Federation.”

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