(Kyiv) The Ukrainian Judo Federation announced on Monday that it would not send a delegation to the World Judo Championships in Qatar from May 7 to 14 due to the presence of Russian and Belarusian judokas.

The Ukrainian federation claims that some of these judokas are also active soldiers.

The International Judo Federation (IJF) gave the green light on Sunday to the presence of Russians and Belarusians at these world championships on the condition that they do so individually and as neutral athletes.

But the Ukrainian federation said on Monday that “the majority of the Russian team is made up of sportsmen who are active soldiers in the army of the Russian federation which attacked Ukraine on February 24, 2022” and who “continue to wage a brutal war against our territory.”

“More than 250 Ukrainian athletes have given their lives to defend the country and among them judokas”, indicates the Ukrainian federation, adding: “we see neither neutrality nor equal treatment nor a ‘gateway for peace” as the international federation says in its resolution on the participation of Russians and Belarusians in the world championships in Doha”.

“Furthermore, we consider that this decision contradicts the latest recommendations of the International Olympic Committee of March 28, 2023 stating that a neutral athlete status can only be granted to those who are not military personnel”, adds the Ukrainian federation. .

Ukrainian judoka Daria Bilodid called the IJF’s decision “unacceptable”.

“All these people who are going to participate in the world championships are soldiers. Doesn’t make any sense, does it? “said the 2019 world champion in the 48 kilo category and bronze medalist at the Tokyo Olympics in a message on Instagram.

“I find it unacceptable to allow soldiers from a terrorist country that kills Ukrainians every day to participate in international competitions,” she said.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said in late March that Russian and Belarusian athletes will be able to “compete as neutral individual athletes” as long as they do not “actively support the war in Ukraine” and are not not “under contract” with the military or security agencies of either country.

However, the IOC has yet to make a decision on the participation of representatives from these two countries in the Paris Olympics in 2024.