International Judo Federation

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International Judo Federation
International Judo Federation (logo).png
Jurisdiction International
Abbreviation IJF
Founded 1951
Headquarters Lausanne, Switzerland
President Marius Vizer
Official website
www.ijf.org

The International Judo Federation (IJF) was founded in July 1951.[1] The IJF was originally composed of judo federations from Europe plus Argentina.[2] Countries from four continents were affiliated over the next ten years. Today the IJF has 200 National Federations on all continents. There are over 40 million people around the globe who practice judo, according to the IJF.[3]

Since 2009, IJF has organized yearly World Championships and the World Judo Tour consisting of five Grand Prix, four Grand Slams, a master tournament and a Continental open tournament.[citation needed]

Controversies[edit]

The IJF has faced a number of controversies.

After his defeat at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Egyptian judoka Islam El Shehaby refused to shake the hand of his opponent Israeli Or Sasson, in a significant breach of judo etiquette.[4] IJF spokesman Nicolas Messner said "This is already a big improvement that Arabic countries accept to (fight) Israel, but he said that even though El Shehaby ultimately bowed after being compelled to by the referee, "his attitude will be reviewed after the games to see if any further action should be taken."[5]

Before the 2016 Olympic Games, following a World Anti-Doping Agency investigation that uncovered state-sponsored cheating in Russia, the IJF cleared all 11 Russian judokas to compete, after the International Olympic Committee asked international sports federations to decide which Russian athletes should be allowed to compete after a review of their doping records.[6]

At the 2004 Summer Olympics, Iranian judoka Arash Miresmaili was slated to fight Israeli judoka Ehud Vaks in the first round. Miresmaili was disqualified from competing because he was was more than two kilos - four pounds - over the 66-kilogram weight limit.[7] It was claimed that Miresmaili deliberately set out to be disqualified, rather than compete against an Israeli, which was understood from Miresmaili's own comments: "Although I have trained for months and was in good shape I refused to fight my Israeli opponent to sympathise with the suffering of the people of Palestine and I do not feel upset at all." [8] Initially, IJF officials questioned how such an experienced two-time world champion competitor could have made such a basic error.[9] This followed similar incidents such as at the 2001 World Judo Championships, at which Iranian Mahed Malekmohammdi refused to face Israeli judoka Yoel Razvozov, and a bout in which Iranian judoka Masoud Haji Akhoundzade pulled out against Israeli lightweight Zvi Shafran.[10]

The IJF set up a commission to investigate whether Miresmaeili deliberately missed weight so he would not have to face Vaks, but concluded he had no intention to avoid competing against an Israeli. After a hearing which included the president of Iran's judo federation, the commission concluded that Miresmaeili said he had no pre-planned intentions for not competing and that "he made no statement of any sort to any press," according to an IJF statement. The only issue that remained was that Miresmaeili was overweight on the weigh-in day, the IJF said, and as it has no rule for penalizing overweight athletes, it decided not to take any action against him.[11] On September 8, 2004, Iran's official press agency announced the government had given Miresmaili $125,000, the same amount awarded to Iran's two Athens gold medalists.[12]

Presidents of the IJF[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]