(FiveNation.com)- International sports groups and leagues are banning Russian athletes and teams from participating in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
Now, Russian President Vladimir Putin is having an honorary sports title stripped from him as well.
On Sunday, the International Judo Federation said they would suspend Putin’s honorary president status because of “the ongoing war conflict in Ukraine.”
Putin is known as a “keen judoka,” and during the 2012 Olympics in London, Putin himself attended.
Also over the weekend, Sergey Soloveychik from Russia resigned as president of the European Judo Union. While he said the “heartache that we see the people in brotherly countries die” as a reason for stepping down from his post, he also backed Russia’s moves.
In announcing his decision, Soloveychik said:
“No one doubts that my heart belongs to judo. But it is equally true that it belongs to my homeland, Russia. We, judoka, must always be loyal to our principles.”
Putin’s other favorite sport is ice hockey, and there have been reverberations in that sport as well. Dinamo Riga, a Latvian club in the Russian-run and -owned Kontinental Hockey League, withdrew from a match it was supposed to have on Sunday. The club cited the “military and humanitarian crisis” currently going on in Ukraine as the reason.
The KHL had initially announced plans earlier in February to cancel the rest of their regular season. This was done due to concerns regarding the coronavirus as well as to allow their players to participate in the Winter Olympics.
The league was reinstating just in time for their postseason to start, which was supposed to happen this week.
Other international sports organizations have taken action due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Both FIFA and UEFA have banned Russia’s national and club teams from participating, for now. That means that Russia is banned from participating in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, and club teams from the country are banned from continental competitions.
Formula 1 has also banned all Russian athletes from competing at the Sochi Grand Prix.
The International Olympic Committee also said that all athletes from Belarus and Russia shouldn’t be allowed to participate in any international competitions because of Russia’s military actions.
The IOC said they were forced to raise this issue due to the “current war in Ukraine,” which they said is preventing many athletes from Ukraine from competing “because of the attack on their country.”
Over the weekend, the International Swimming Federation said they would be cancelling the world junior swim titles. They were originally scheduled to be held in Kazan, Russia, from August 23 to August 28.
The organization said it was in the process of trying to find a new location to host the event.
In a statement, the organization said:
“FINA remains extremely concerned with the continuing war in Ukraine and following ongoing consultation with athletes and stakeholders from the aquatics family, FINA can now confirm that the 8th FINA World Junior Swimming Championships and FINA will not be holding any future events in Russia if this grave crisis continues.”