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, which is considered by many Ukrainians to be a symbol of Russian aggression. The striped ribbon is banned in some European countries.
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. The admitted athletes must compete at the World Championships 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.