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Putin suspended as honorary president of International Judo Federation following Ukraine invasion

Putin, a blackbelt and former judo champion, is believed to have been a longtime practitioner of the sport.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends judo trainings in Sochi Photo by Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Following his invasion of Ukraine, Russian president Vladimir Putin has been suspended as honorary president of the International Judo Federation.

“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.

Putin, a blackbelt and former judo champion, is believed to have been a longtime practitioner of the sport, and even co-authored a book titled “Judo: History, Theory, Practice.”

In 2008, he released a judo instructional DVD to celebrate his 56th birthday. The DVD was a collaborative effort with other judo practitioners, including former world and Olympic champion Yasuhiro Yamashita.

The IJF also announced that it had cancelled an upcoming event in Kazan, Russia next May.

“The International Judo Federation announces with regret the cancellation of the 2022 Grand Slam in Kazan, Russia,” IJF President Marius Vizer said.

It is also worth noting that Arkady Rotenberg, an influential oligarch and longtime friend of Putin, remains on the IJF executive committee as “development manager.”