Takedown: World Judo Federation Suspends Vladimir Putin as Honorary President
Vladimir Putin is still the president of Russia, for now. However, he is no longer the honorary president of the International Judo Federation (IJF).
The IJF announced on Sunday that Putin, a black belt who not only practices Judo but co-authored a book about the martial art, was being suspended from his honorary president status due to his invasion of Ukraine.
“In light of the ongoing war conflict 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,” the IJF said in a statement.
Russian President Vladimir Putin takes part in a training session with members of the Russian national judo team in Sochi on February 14, 2019. (Photo by MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images)
In addition to their action against Putin, the IJF also canceled a Judo tournament scheduled to take place in Russia this summer.
As the Associated Press reports:
The IJF is rare among Olympic sports bodies for using the word “war” to describe Russia’s invasion of Ukraine ordered by Putin on Thursday. Others have used phrases such as “escalation of conflict.”
A Kremlin-supporting oligarch and longtime friend of Putin, Arkady Rotenberg, remains on the IJF executive committee as ‘development manager.’
LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 02: Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) celebrates Tagir Khaibulaev of Russia’s gold medal in the Men’s -100 kg Judo on Day 6 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on August 2, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been bogged down by determined resistance, poor logistical support, weak small-unit leadership, and the shocking inability of Russia to gain total air superiority despite having a vastly superior air force. Reports circulated Sunday morning that negotiation teams from Ukraine and Russia had agreed to meet on the Ukraine-Belarussian border to attempt to bring the fighting to an end.