Ukrainian team to boycott Judo World Championship due to Russian soldiers’ participation

30 April, 06:04 PM
Two-time world champion Darya Bilodid was part of the Ukrainian national team (Photo:REUTERS/Hannah Mckay)

Two-time world champion Darya Bilodid was part of the Ukrainian national team (Photo:REUTERS/Hannah Mckay)

Ukraine’s national judo team says it will boycott the upcoming Judo World Championship in Qatar after the International Judo Federation ignored recommendations from the International Olympic Committee and allowed Russian athletes linked to the Russian army to take part in the tournament.

The Russian army is suspected of committing atrocities and war crimes in Ukraine.

The championship is scheduled to start on May 7, and a list of Russian judokas, many of whom are military personnel and hold officer ranks, appeared on the International Judo Federation’s website on the last day of registration.

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Vitaliy Dubrova, the head coach of Ukraine’s judo team, said in an interview with Suspilne Sport on April 30 that the Ukrainian judo team would now boycott the championship.

“We expected and hoped that common sense would prevail. Unfortunately, Russian rubles won,” he said.

“Almost all the athletes on the Russian list are affiliated with power structures or belong to CSKA (Russian Central Sports Club) or Rosgvardiya (the Russian National Guard).”

“Moreover, there are a lot of photos on the Internet where they are dressed in military uniforms, photographed with (Russian Defense Minister Sergey) Shoigu receiving awards,” Dubrova added.

Judoka Niyaz Ilyasov (left) in military uniform (Фото: CSKA)
Judoka Niyaz Ilyasov (left) in military uniform / Photo: CSKA
Photo: CSKA

Regarding the future, Dubrova said, “We will prepare for the Grand Prix in Austria, which will be held on May 25-27. We hope that representatives of aggressor countries will not be there.”

The International Olympic Committee earlier recommended that Russian athletes who are military personnel not be allowed to compete in international events.

Earlier, NV reported that Ukrainian athletes have been prohibited from competing alongside Russians by Ukraine’s Ministry of Sports.

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