Ukrainian judoka Georgy Zantaraya explained his decision to give up titles if the International Judo Federation (IJF) allows Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete at the Grand Slam tournament in Mongolia under a neutral status, Breakfast with 1 + 1 reports, Ukrinform reports.
“This cannot be done because it will be a trend for other sports. While we are at war, while the whole world is helping us, and all international companies have gone out of business in Russia, Russian sports are trying to enter the world arena through athletes. I do not want to be involved in this federation, which I advocated, which I popularized, as long as they do not support such decisions. In my opinion, the International Judo Federation is very dependent on Russian sponsors. One of the biggest sponsors is Russian companies,” Zantaraya said.
He also noted that Ukrainian athletes do not have the opportunity to train fully due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“The standards of sport today are somehow bilateral. If sport is a fair game, and Russia throws bombs, kills people, and our athletes can’t do it fully, it’s not a sport and fair game. And this is at a time when Russian athletes have full-fledged training,” Zantaraya said.
As Ukrinform reported, earlier the International Judo Federation allowed Russians and Belarusians to participate in Grand Slam tournaments under a neutral status.
The Grand Slam tournament in Mongolia will take place on June 24-26.
Photo: NOC of Ukraine