Feb 27, 2022 - Sports

International Judo Federation suspends Putin as honorary president

Putin surrounded by judo athletes

Russian President Vladimir Putin, surrounded by national judo team athletes, attends a 2019 training at the Yug Sport complex in Sochi, Russia. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

The International Judo Federation announced Sunday that it has suspended Russian President Vladimir Putin as its honorary president as Russia's invasion of Ukraine entered its fourth day.

Why it matters: Putin is a judo black belt and a keen fan of the sport, having authored a book about the sport and starred in an instructional video, per the Washington Post.

  • Other international sports organizations have taken steps in recent days to pull out of events in Russia.

State of play: The International Judo Federation said it had made its decision "in light of the ongoing war conflict in Ukraine."

  • The development comes two days after the federation's announcement Friday that it was cancelling its Grand Slam event in Kazan, Russia, that was set to take place in May.

The big picture: On Friday, soccer federations from Poland, the Czech Republic and Sweden announced that they would not participate in World Cup qualifier matches set to take place in Russia in March.

  • Formula 1 also cancelled its Russian Grand Prix on Friday, saying it was "impossible" to hold the race that was slated to take place in September.
  • UEFA, European soccer's governing body, has also moved its 2022 Champions League final from St. Petersburg to Paris following the invasion.
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