In a statement issued on June 14, the Ukrainian Judo Federation announced that its national team would refuse to participate in any IJF sporting event as long as the Russian and Belarusian national teams took part in the competitions.
In this message, the president of the Ukrainian federation Mykhailo Koshliak highlights in particular the financing of the Russian and Belarusian national teams, as well as their athletes, by the ministries of Sports and Defense of the two countries:
“After the beginning of the war, the International Olympic Committee gave the recommendation to all the international Olympic federations to suspend the participation of the representatives of Russia and Belarus in the competitions, in any way”, said Koshliak.
Ukraine’s decision was relayed by world champions Daria Bilodid and Georgii Zantaraia on their social networks.
“All the values of judo are what we teach our children! And these are not just beautiful slogans, it is a moral code and a way of life for all judokas in the world. It cannot be possible that IJF allows Russian athletes to participate in the Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix, half of whom serve in the armed forces”, specified Georgii Zantaraia.
Zantaraia: “In case of the message I wrote a few days ago, I want to emphasize that judo is much more than just a sport for me. Extremely important for me to be surrounded not just by professional athletes, even by people who support my country, especially during the war!”
“I believe that the Judo Federation of Ukraine has made right decision to abandon all events organized by the International Judo Federation!”, says the champion.