Because of the wearing of Russian military emblems, a group of spectators at the Judo World Championships in Doha/Qatar has been thrown out of the hall. This was announced by the World Judo Federation IJF on Wednesday. Those affected had previously not complied with the request to remove their badges, the IJF told the AFP news agency.
Three spectators wore the St. George's ribbon. In Russia, this expresses, among other things, solidarity and closeness to the armed forces. The ribbon is also seen by many Ukrainians as a symbol of Russian aggression. The striped ribbon is banned in some European countries.
The Ukrainian politician and Olympic champion in wrestling, Shan Belenyuk, had published a photo of spectators with the ribbon on Telegram with the words: "'Sport has nothing to do with politics,' says this Russian-born family who wear a St. George ribbon on their chest and cheer on 'neutral' athletes at the World Judo Championships in Qatar."
Olympic speed skating champion and Duma deputy Svetlana Zhurova criticized the publication of the photo to the Russian news agency TASS, otherwise the tape would not have been noticed by the organizers: "The decision of the organizers of the World Judo Championships to ban fans with St. George ribbons on their clothes from the stands is a consequence of the provocative actions of the Ukrainian side." This only serves the purpose of isolating Russia even further.
Following a recommendation by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the world federation had allowed Russian and Belarusian judoka to resume as neutral athletes at the World Championships despite the ongoing Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. They had to pass a background check to do so. The check included, among other things, reviewing social media interactions with regard to pro-Russian war propaganda. Among the approved Russian judoka are several athletes with ties to the Russian Armed Forces - including participants in military championships. However, the Russian martial artists have to compete at the World Cup without a national flag and anthem.
On Sunday, eight members of the Russian delegation were expelled, but none of them were male or female athletes. IJF Director General Vlad Marinescu explained that they were "support staff, trainers, heads of delegations". Marinescu "regrets" that the Ukrainian team is boycotting the World Cup because of the admission of Russian players. He justified the opening for activists from Russia and Belarus with the IOC requirement from March. The decision to authorise the authorisation was taken unanimously.
For the German fighters, the fights in the class up to 81 kilograms end again with disappointment: Timo Cavelius failed in the third round against Japanese Olympic champion Takanori Nagase, for Dominic Ressel it was already over after the first fight against Victor Sterpu (Macedonia). Cavelius first won against the Czech Adam Kopecky and thus ensured the first victory of a German World Championship starter in the men's field on the fourth day of the fight. The 26-year-old also defeated Brazilian Guilherme Schmidt before losing to Nagase. "We are not satisfied with the result," said sporting director Hartmut Paulat the day before. Maximilian Standke (up to 60kg), Martin Setz and Lennart Slamberger (up to 66) as well as Alexander Gabler (up to 73) each lost their opening fight.