Russian competitors will be excluded from the 2022 World Judo Championships

Russian and Belarusian judoka will not be allowed to compete at the 2022 World Judo Championships in Uzbekistan next month despite previously being allowed to attend events as neutrals, it has been announced.

The International Judo Federation (IJF) bucked the trend in March when, in contrast to blanket bans issued by many other sports federations, it continued to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to appear in tournaments, albeit only under the IJF banner.

That stance infuriated Ukraine, whose judoka boycotted a World Cup event in Mongolia in June and threatened to do the same at the World Championships in Tashkent in October if the Russians were present.

In a statement on Wednesday, the IJF confirmed that it would reverse its position for the remainder of 2022.

“The Executive Committee of the International Judo Federation decided today, September 21, 2022, considering the current international circumstances and to ensure the protection of all athletes in the sport of judo, not to allow the participation of athletes from Russia and Belarus in international judo events until January 2023”said a message on the organization’s website.

Russian officials have denounced the sports bans as discriminatory and contrary to the principles that sport is out of politics.

It has also been noted that numerous countries whose governments have carried out military campaigns over the years, most notably the United States and its NATO allies, have escaped similar punishment.

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