Russia selects army officers for World Judo Championships, thumbing nose at IOC recommendations

30 April, 01:51 PM
Niiaz Iliasov (left) in military uniform (Photo:ЦСКА)

Niiaz Iliasov (left) in military uniform (Photo:ЦСКА)

Russia's team for the World Judo Championships, which will be held from May 7 to 14, have been revealed on the official website of the International Judo Federation – and many of them are members of the Russian armed forces.

The Russian team is named "Individual Neutral Athletes" and includes 20 athletes.

But, as if taking the term “martial arts” literally, many of the judokas on the Russian team are in fact members of the Russian army – which Kyiv accuses of committing atrocities and war crimes in Ukraine.

For example, Niiaz Iliasov is a senior lieutenant in the Russian Armed Forces, Tamerlan Bashaev is a senior sergeant in the Russian Armed Forces, Mikhail Igolnikov is a warrant officer in the Russian Armed Forces, Aleksandra Babintseva is a lieutenant in the Russian Armed Forces, and Madina Taimazova is a warrant officer in the Russian Armed Forces.

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According to the recommendations of the International Olympic Committee, Russian athletes who are military personnel should not be allowed to compete. However, it seems that the International Judo Federation has disregarded the IOC's opinion.

Earlier, NV reported that the Ministry of Sports was to prohibit Ukrainian athletes from participating in competitions where Russians are competing.

So far, there has been no official reaction from the Ukrainian Judo Federation.

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