Russia and Belarusian athletes have been banned from competition again.
The International Judo Federation (IJF) announced on their website on Wednesday that Russian and Belarusian athletes are prohibited from participating in the 2022 World Judo Championships next month in Uzebekistan due to their countries’ war in Ukraine.
“The Executive Committee of the International Judo Federation decided today, 21st September 2022, considering the current international circumstances and in order to ensure the protection of all athletes in the sport of judo, to not allow the participation of athletes from Russia and Belarus in international judo events until January 2023,” the statement said.
The decision marks a change of mind. Russian and Belarusian athletes were allowed to compete as neutral competitors in tournaments for months — under the IJF flag and their own.
But Ukrainian judokas boycotted a World Cup event in Mongolia in June as a result. They threatened to do the same at the world championships if those athletes were still allowed to compete.
Putin, Russia’s president, previously served as the honorary IJF president, but was suspended after invading Ukraine earlier this year.