By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 27 February 2022 • 13:19
Would be strongman Putin suspended by world judo body
The International Judo Federation, the world body for judo today suspended Russian President Valdimir Putin as the sport’s Honorary President.
Citing “the ongoing war in the Ukraine”, the federation said that it had suspended Putin’s status within the sport in a strongly worded statement. Putin was appointed to the role in 2008 after taking an active interest in the sport at an international level.
Unusual for a sporting body to cite the war in the Ukraine, rather than the escalating conflict, the sport has made clear their feelings about the ongoing situation.
Putin is a well-known fan of the sport and even travelled to the London Olympics to watch the events.
What is rather odd about the announcement by the sporting federation is that the Kremlin-supporting oligarch and long-time friend of Putin, Arkady Rotenberg, remains on the IJF executive committee as “Development Manager.”
Founded in July 1951 the IJF has 200 National Federations on all continents, with more than 20 million people practising the sport across the world. The federation has since 2009 been responsible for organising the yearly World Championships and the World Judo Tour consisting of five Grand Prix, four Grand Slams, a master tournament and a Continental open tournament.
The suspension by the world judo body is unlikely to hurt Putin given its honorary status, however as he does see himself as the strongman of the sport the suspension is likely to hurt his ego and to damage his personal image.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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