Ukraine, including double world champion and Olympic bronze medallist Daria Bilodid, have announced they are boycotting the World Judo Championships after a ban on Russians competing was lifted ©Getty Images

Ukraine have decided to boycott the upcoming World Judo Championships in Qatari capital Doha over the readmission of Russian and Belarusian judoka.

Their withdrawal from the event, due to count towards qualification for next year's Olympics in Paris, has been confirmed by Vitaliy Dubrova, head coach of the Ukrainian team.

The decision comes just a day after the International Judo Federation (IJF) Executive Committee ruled to allow judoka from Russia and Belarus to compete as individual neutral athletes in time for the World Championships, scheduled to be held from May 7 to 14.

"Of course, we found out through the IJF website, because yesterday was the last day of registration of athletes for the World Championship," said Dubrova in a report by Ukrainian news website Tribuna.

"We waited and hoped that common sense would prevail. 

"Unfortunately, Russian rubles won."

Dubrova revealed that the Ukrainian Judo Federation (FJU) would issue an official statement on its decision to boycott the tournament tomorrow.

He also said that FJU President Mikhail Koshlyak was due to fly to Qatar where he is expected to deliver a speech at the IJF Ordinary Congress. due to be held on Thursday (May 4).

"We will try to fight," added Dubrova.

"But it is very difficult in our sport, because all this is decided behind the scenes. 

"Everything is so 'ugly', to put it mildly.

"Athletes are disappointed, because both boys and girls have already started to lose weight."

Niyaz Ilyasov has been listed under the banner
Niyaz Ilyasov has been listed under the banner "Individual Neutral Athletes" on the IJF website but Ukrainian media reports that the Olympic bronze medallist is a senior lieutenant for the Russian armed forces ©Getty Images

Dubrova claimed that the Ukrainian team were still planning to compete at the IJF Grand Prix, scheduled to be held in Austria in late May, insisting "we hope that representatives of the agressor country will not be there".

Earlier this month, the Ukrainian Government adopted a resolution punishing National Federations whose athletes participate in competitions involving Russia and Belarus.

Judo is the latest Olympic sport to lift its ban on Russia and Belarus after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) ruled last month they should be allowed to return to the global sporting stage as neutrals provided they do not support the war in Ukraine and are not affiliated to the military.

A verificiation process is due to be conducted with the IJF saying that it would work with a "independent, reputable company" to carry out background checks on all athletes proposed for participation, including "social media content specific reference to possible war propaganda".

Following the decision to readmit Russian and Belarusian athletes, a team called "Individual Neutral Athletes" featuring eight male and three female judoka appeared on the IJF website.

According to Ukrainian website, at least seven of those are representatives of the Central Army Sports Club, better known as CSKA. 

Among those is Olympic bronze medallist Niyaz Ilyasov, reportedly a senior lieutenant for the Russian armed forces.

The IJF claimed yesterday that the ruling allowed the possibility for "fair participation" and "equal chances to all judo athletes who are pursuing their Olympic dreams", insisting "sport is the main bridge for dialogue and reconciliation".

The Ukrainian Judo Federation is expected to issue a statement on its decision to boycott the tournament tomorrow ©Getty Images
The Ukrainian Judo Federation is expected to issue a statement on its decision to boycott the tournament tomorrow ©Getty Images

Double world champion and Olympic bronze medallist Daria Bilodid is among the Ukrainian judoka that has criticised the IJF's decision.

"I believe that it is unacceptable to allow military personnel of a terrorist country, which kills Ukrainians every day, to participate in international competitions," said Bilodid.

"This is not at all about sports values.

"This is low."

The IJF has also received criticism from Russia, with the country's Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin describing the decision not to allow Russian athletes to compete under the national flag as "discriminatory".

The worldwide governing body was one of only a few Olympic International Federations that did not fully follow the IOC's recommendations last year to ban athletes from the aggressor countries outright in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

Instead, it ruled that they could compete as neutrals under the IJF flag, anthem and colours.

This resulted in Ukraine boycotting the Ulaanbaatar Grand Slam event in Mongolia and the country had threatened to do the same again for the World Championships before the IJF decided in September to impose an outright ban on Russia and Belarus until January 2023.

insidethegames has contacted the IJF for comment.