To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Ukraine: Putin Suspended From Judo Federation

Ukraine: Putin Suspended From Judo Federation

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been formally suspended by the International Judo Federation following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been formally suspended by the International Judo Federation (IJF) in the wake of Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

In a statement issued on Sunday, February 27, the IJF confirmed Putin was being suspended from his role as honorary president and ambassador of the Federation, a title he has held for a several years.

'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.

Vladimir Putin doing Judo (Alamy)
Vladimir Putin doing Judo (Alamy)

The decision, which is the latest of a series of moves within the sports world to exclude Russia from competitions, is a personal embarrassment to Putin, who is understood to be a 'keen practitioner' of the martial art discipline, and according to Reuters has even published a book on the sport, titled Judo: History, Theory, Practice.

Putin is an eighth-dan black belt in the discipline, and has received a number of honours from various martial arts organisations over the years, including an eighth-dan black belt from the Kyokushin-Kan International Honbu karate dojo. He was also awarded the highest rank in Taekwondo on a visit to South Korea in 2013, despite not practicing the discipline.

The Russian president has previously spoken about his passion for martial arts, telling NPR in 2001, 'All my adult life I have been practicing judo.'

'I do love the sport tremendously. And I think that there is more to it than just sport. I think it’s also a philosophy in a way, and I think it’s a philosophy that teaches one to treat one’s partner with respect,' he said.

Yet despite the numerous images and videos showing Putin performing throws and other moves on his judo opponents, at least one fellow judo expert has cast doubt on whether Putin's skills are all that they may seem.

Putin throwing a child (Alamy)
Putin throwing a child (Alamy)

In 2015, Lawfare journalist Benjamin Wittes called out Putin in a series of articles and interviews, claiming that the president's judo accomplishments were a 'fraud' and even challenging him to a fight to prove it.

'At least in the videos I have seen, there are no committed attacks on Putin, and I see no evidence that his opponents are ever trying to get the better of him,' Wittes said, per the Washington Post.

Putin declined to take Wittes up on the offer of a fight.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Vladimir Putin, Russia, Sport, World News