World judo body suspends Putin as its honorary president

FILE - Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the opening ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Feb. 4, 2022, in Beijing. Putin and leaders before him have tried to cultivate an image of a prosperous country fortified by strong athletes who beat their international opponents in the games people play. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File) (Sue Ogrocki, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

BUDAPEST – Vladimir Putin temporarily lost his most senior official position in world sports on Sunday.

The International Judo Federation cited “the ongoing war conflict in Ukraine” for suspending Putin’s honorary president status.

The Russian president is a keen judoka and attended the sport at the 2012 London Olympics.

The IJF is rare among Olympic sports bodies for using the word “war” to describe Russia’s invasion of Ukraine ordered by Putin on Thursday. Others have used phrases such as “escalation of conflict.”

A Kremlin-supporting oligarch and longtime friend of Putin, Arkady Rotenberg, remains on the IJF executive committee as “development manager.”

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