IJF suspends Vladimir Putin as honorary president amid Ukraine invasion

Vladimir Putin has been honorary president of International Judo Federation since 2008. (PC Twitter)

Budapest: Due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been suspended as honorary president of the International Judo Federation (IJF), the sport’s regulatory body stated on Sunday.

“In light of the ongoing war… 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,” read the IJF statement.

Since 2008, Putin, an exceptional judoka who was given an eighth dan in 2014 — one of the sport’s highest levels — has served as honorary president.

Putin’s suspension followed a slew of sporting punishments against Russia.

UEFA, the governing body of European football, has stripped Saint Petersburg of the right to host the Champions League final on May 28, and Formula One has canceled the Russian Grand Prix set for September 25.

Both Poland and Sweden have announced that they would not face Russia in the 2022 World Cup play-offs, in the hopes of persuading their 27 European Union allies to impose a universal sporting boycott.

This included prohibiting Russian athletes from participating on EU land.

Since Russia attacked Ukraine early Thursday, 198 civilians, including three children, have been killed, according to Ukrainian officials. Moscow has ordered its soldiers to move in Ukraine “from all directions” as the crisis enters its fourth day, while the West replied late Saturday with sanctions aimed at crippling Russia’s financial sector.