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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Ukraine plans to refuse participation in the World Championships due to the decision to permit Russians to compete.

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The IJF stated that holding the World Championships in Doha in May 2023 and awarding significant points would provide all judo athletes with a fair opportunity to pursue their Olympic dreams.As of Sunday, the entry list included twenty individuals from Russia and Belarus. Among them were five who had won medals at a competition last year and were listed as members of the Central Sports Club of the Army on the Russian Defense Ministry website. Four of these individuals were identified as staff sergeants, but it is unclear whether they are currently serving in the military.The International Olympic Committee has suggested that Russian and Belarusian athletes be permitted to participate in events like Olympic qualifiers as neutrals. However, the committee has advised sports organizations to prohibit any military or security force personnel from competing. The IJF’s statement did not address this issue, and it remains unclear whether the organization will adhere to the IOC’s stance on military competitors or how background checks will be conducted in time for the world championships.On Saturday, the IJF announced its intention to permit Russians and Belarusians to participate as neutral athletes, without any national emblems. The athletes would be subjected to a screening process, which would include a review of their social media activity for any indications of “war propaganda,” according to the IJF.The list of participants for the IJF no longer includes any judokas from Ukraine.The upcoming world judo championships may face a boycott from Ukraine due to the International Judo Federation’s decision to permit Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate, which could impact their chances of qualifying for the Olympics.The ICF stated that they will honor the decision of a National Canoe Federation hosting an ICF event to exclude Individual Neutral Athletes in order to safeguard the implementation of ICF events and ensure athlete safety.The International Canoe Federation has announced that it will permit the participation of certain Russian and Belarusian athletes in an upcoming Olympic sport. The athletes must not have any military affiliations and must not have expressed public support for the war.According to Ukrainian national team coach Vitaliy Dubrova, Ukraine has a policy of abstaining from participating in international sports events that permit athletes from Russia and Belarus due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. However, lobbying efforts will still be pursued, as reported by Ukrainian public broadcaster Suspilne on Sunday.The Russian sports minister, Oleg Matytsin, expressed his disapproval of the suggested neutral status for Russian athletes, referring to it as discriminatory in a statement to Tass, a Russian news agency, on Saturday. However, he did not disclose whether Russia would participate under these terms, as the judo team had done in the previous year.Russian President Vladimir Putin has a strong affinity for Judo, which is one of his preferred sports. He was previously recognized as the IJF’s “honorary president and ambassador,” but the federation has since revoked that title as of last year.However, the ICF also indicated that the organizers of future competitions in the area would have the power to reject their involvement.Daria Bilodid, a prominent figure in judo and a two-time world champion from Ukraine, expressed her disapproval on Instagram of allowing military personnel from a country known for terrorism and killing Ukrainians to take part in global competitions.In June 2022, the Ukrainian judo team refused to participate in an Olympic qualifier event held in Mongolia. This was due to the International Judo Federation’s decision to permit Russian athletes to compete as neutral participants. As a result, the IJF changed their stance and prohibited Russia and Belarus from participating in any of their events until the end of 2022. Since then, the Ukrainian team has not taken part in any IJF competitions.The Ukrainian government mandates that their national sports teams refrain from participating in international competitions that involve Russian and Belarusian teams.

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