As the attack of Ukraine entered a fourth day on Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin temporarily lost his most senior official position in world sports. 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.
There was an abrupt resignation on Sunday from the Russian who is president of the European Judo Union, as well. Sergey Soloveychik referenced the “heartache that we see the people in brotherly countries die” but backing his country in announcing his decision.
“No one doubts that my heart belongs to judo,” he said. “But it is equally true that it belongs to my homeland, Russia. We, judoka, must always be loyal to our principles.”
In Putin’s other favorite sport, ice hockey, Latvian club Dinamo Riga withdrew Sunday from the Russian-owned and run Kontinental Hockey League citing the “military and humanitarian crisis.”
Earlier this month, the KHL announced plans to cancel the remainder of the regular season, allowing time to have players participate in the Olympics while also citing coronavirus concerns. The league decided to end the pause in time for the postseason, which is tentatively slated to begin Tuesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.