Vladimir Putin stripped of international judo role for bloody Ukraine invasion

27 February 2022, 13:03

Putin has been suspended as honorary president in judo's worldwide governing body
Putin has been suspended as honorary president in judo's worldwide governing body. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Judo lover Vladimir Putin has been suspended as president of the sport's worldwide governing body.

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The Russian president is facing isolation after launching a bloody invasion of Ukraine, which has seen him get slapped with Western sanctions.

The world of sport is starting to turns its back on Russia, too.

Blackbelt Putin, a keen practitioner of judo, has now been suspended from his figurehead role at the International Judo Federation.

Putin has written a book on the sport, "Judo: History, Theory, Practice".

Read more: We'll cut Russia's economy off 'at the knees' and oligarchs won't stop us, Liz Truss vows

A statement on the federation's website said: "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."

It also cancelled a "Grand Slam" due to take place in May in Kazan, Russia, in May.

Read more: Ukraine calls on foreigners to join 'international legion' and fight Russian invasion

Russia has already been stripped of the Champions League final, the biggest event in club football.

It was also due to take place in May, but European football's governing body, UEFA, confirmed it had moved the final from St Petersburg to Paris.

The Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix has also been cancelled after motorsport bosses said the Sochi event would be impossible to hold. That had been due to take place in September.

Read more: Russia 'failed to make progress it wanted and is trying to cover up invasion's toll'

Read more: Curfew extended to counter Russian 'saboteurs' as Kyiv braces for incoming missile attacks

More importantly, Putin's invasion of Ukraine has triggered the imposition of serious new sanctions.

Western leaders, who have been sanctioning Russian banks and oligarchs close to Putin, have now agreed to cut some financial institutions off from SWIFT, the international transactions system.

Ukraine, which has said 200 people have been killed at 1,000 were injured, has claimed 4,300 Russians have lost their lives invading. The figures have not been independently verified.

The British Ministry of Defence believes it is likely Russia has suffered "heavy" casualties and that its progress has been slower than it would have expected.

On Sunday, Russian troops were attempting to encircle Kyiv, possibly with the goal of overthrowing the democratically elected government.

Fighting in Kharkiv, in the east of the country, saw Russians enter the city but by midday on Saturday UK time the Ukrainians said they had fought them out.

Moscow's forces have made gains in the south, along the coast, but the Ukrainian military continues to put up a fierce resistance.

Kyiv has said it has established an "international legion" for foreigners who want to arrive and help repulse the invaders.

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