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IJF suspends Vladimir Putin as honorary president over Ukraine invasion

The political ramifications of Russian President Vladimir Putin to invade the sovereign nation of Ukraine has reverbiated all the way around the world and has even penetrated down to a sport level. Today, the International Judo Federation (IJF) has suspended Putin’s honorary president status. The announcement was short and brief saying:

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.

Vladimir Putin has an 8th dan black belt in Judo and has competed in sambo, the Russian national grappling art, and karate. Putin, who has been practicing since he was 11, has stayed involved in the martial art, even into his presidency.

But the move from the IJF shows that Putin’s crimes have been noticed not just in the political world, but in all facets of life.

Vladimir Putin, Ukraine, and the IJF

Vladimir Putin attacking Ukraine has drawn scorn from around the globe. In addition to the IJF taking their actions, former heavyweight champion, and mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, has stayed behind to fight the Russian invasion. Vasil Lomachnko, one of boxing’s best, has also joined the troops. Others have spoken out, like Viktor Postol and Oleksandr Usyk, have returned to their country as well.

The IJF making a move against Vladimir Putin is nothing new for the organization. This year, the IJF handed down a four year suspension to the Iranian Judo Federation for match fixing and unsportsmanlike conduct in the case of Saeid Mollaei. He was commanded by the Iran government to lose a bout because of the possibility of facing an Israeli in the finals.

Russia’s crimes against Ukraine are heinous. The IJF stepping up and taking away honors from Vladimir Putin is just the latest step in sanctions from the entire world.


In addition to covering the IJF and Olympic Judo for My MMA News, Blaine Henry, the author, also analyzes fights from all combat sports across the globe. 

Blaine Henry can be found on Twitter, on his podcast, and Patreon.

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