The International Judo Federation has taken action against the Russian President
Russian President Vladimir Putin has been removed from all positions he held at the International Judo Federation (IJF) as part of his country’s military operation in Ukraine, the martial arts organization has confirmed.
Russian billionaire Rotenberg, who had been on the IJF’s executive committee as head of development since 2013, also lost his role on the governing body.
Last week, the IFJ suspended Putin from his role as honorary president and ambassador, which he had held since 2008.
Judo has been a passion of Putin since his youth in St. Petersburg, where he was regional champion according to the IJF website.
The same year he was named the organization’s honorary president, Putin produced an educational DVD, “Let’s Learn Judo with Vladimir Putin.”
Putin also created a sports book which was distributed to millions of Russian children.
Over the past decade, Putin has regularly attended major judo events such as the 2018 World Championships in Baku.
The Russian head of state was seen watching judo with then-British Prime Minister David Cameron at the London 2012 Olympics before kissing Tagir Khaibulaev when the judoka picked up the gold medal gold.
The IJF had previously canceled this year’s Grand Slam, which was due to take place in Kazan in May.
IFJ President Marius L Vizer said his organization was “saddened by the current international situation”which she said was the result “of an ineffective dialogue at the 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”, Vizer added.
“The judo family hopes that the current unrest can be resolved at the last moment, to restore normality and stability in Eastern Europe and the world, to be able to focus again on the various cultures, history and Europe’s heritage in the most positive way. »
The World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) had previously relieved Putin of the honorary black belt he received from its president, Choue Chung-won, during a 2013 visit to South Korea, the country of origin of the martial art, as well as his title of grandmaster.
In a statement, the WTF strongly condemned the military operation in Ukraine, adding that it went against its motto “Peace is more precious than triumph”. and contradicted his “values of respect and tolerance”.
“In this regard, World Taekwondo has decided to revoke the honorary 9th dan black belt conferred on Mr. Vladimir Putin in November 2013,” It said.
The WTF will not allow the display or broadcast of Russian or Belarusian flags or anthems at its events following the advice of the International Olympic Committee.
Neither country will be recognized by the WTF or the European Taekwondo Union.
« The thoughts of World Taekwondo are with the people of Ukraine,” he said, adding that he was hoping for a “peaceful and immediate end” to the operation.