The International Judo Federation (IJF) decided to readmit Russians and Belarusians as neutrals, which would prevent Ukrainian judokas from competing in this month's global championships in Qatar, the Ukrainian Judo Federation (UJF) said on Monday.
Athletes from the two nations should be permitted to compete internationally once again as neutrals, according to a recommendation made last month by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The IJF said last week that it would let judoka from Russia and Belarus to compete in the championships from May 7–14. The IJF claimed that by making this decision, Russians and Belarusians would be able to participate in the qualification for the Paris Olympic Games in 2024.
Athletes who support the war or are employed by military or national security organizations should not compete, according to the IOC's guidelines. The IJF has declared that it has hired a separate business to do background checks and find any such athletes.
The Ukrainian Federation, however, claimed that some of the Russian judokas who had entered for the competition were “active servicemen.”
According to the IJF Resolution on the participation of the Russian and Belarusian teams at the World Championships in Doha, “we do not see here neutrality, equal conditions, and a 'bridge to peace,'” the UJF noted.
“We find a choice here that is in conflict with the most recent IOC guidelines… The International Judo Federation's choice has left us unhappy. As a result, we have chosen not to compete in the Doha World Championships.
Ukraine has prohibited its national sports teams from taking part in competitions when competitors from Belarus and Russia are present.
The IJF dismissed Russian President Vladimir Putin from his role as honorary president after Russia's February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, during which Belarus served as a staging ground for Russian forces. Additionally, the IJF canceled a Grand Slam tournament scheduled to take place in Kazan, Russia.