Vladimir Putin has been stripped of his honorary black belt in taekwondo in response to his invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian president was awarded the black belt by the head of the World Taekwondo Federation, ChoueChung-won, and made a grandmaster of taekwondo during a visit to South Korea in November 2013.
In a statement, World Taekwondo said it “strongly condemns the brutal attacks on innocent lives in Ukraine, which go against the World Taekwondo vision of ‘Peace is More Precious than Triumph’ and the World Taekwondo values of respect and tolerance”.
It added: “In this regard, World Taekwondo has decided to withdraw the honorary 9th dan black belt conferred to Mr. Vladimir Putin in November 2013.
“In solidarity with the International Olympic Committee, no Russian or Belarusian national flags or anthems will be displayed or played at World Taekwondo events. World Taekwondo and the European Taekwondo Union will not organise or recognise Taekwondo events in Russia and Belarus.
“World Taekwondo’s thoughts are with the people of Ukraine and we hope for a peaceful and immediate end to this war.”
Previous honorary black belts have included US presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump, their South Korean counterpart Lee Myung-bak, and other leaders from Spain, Croatia, Pakistan, Indonesia and Honduras.