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Ukraine withdraws from judo world championships due to Russian participation

02.05.2023 09:30
Ukraine has pulled its team from the World Judo Championships in Qatar after the International Judo Federation (IJF) approved the participation of judokas from Russia and Belarus in the event, scheduled for May 7-14.
Photo:PAP/Leszek Szymański

On Sunday, the International Judo Federation approved the participation of judokas from Russia and Belarus in the championships in Doha on the condition they compete as individual neutrals, the Kyiv Post has reported.

In response to the decision, Ukraine pulled its team from the event in Qatar on Monday, saying that the Russian athletes were active soldiers, according to the kyivpost.com website.

The Ukrainian Judo Federation said in a statement that the majority of the Russian team "are athletes who are active servicemen of the armed forces of the Russian Federation, part of the army that attacked Ukraine on February 24, 2022."

It added: "The Russian army is still waging a brutal full-scale war on our territory, shelling Ukrainian cities and civilian homes every day, killing civilians and children."

The Ukrainian Judo Federation also said in its statement that more than 250 Ukrainian athletes, including judokas, "have given their lives defending their country."

It further stated: "We don't see neutrality, equal conditions, or a 'bridge to peace' in this case, as stated in the IJF Resolution on Russian and Belarusian participation in Doha ... Moreover, we see here a decision that contradicts the latest International Olympic Committee recommendations of March 28, 2023. The IOC says that neutral athletes can only be granted to athletes who are not military personnel.”

Tuesday is day 433 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: PAP, kyivpost.com