In the past armed conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, among those taken prisoner was a young Armenian judoka, the 19-year-old Robert Vardanyan. Following a call for help from the Armenian Judo Federation, President Marius Vizer reacted promptly and without hesitation.

The International Judo Federation is happy to announce that the young judoka has now returned home to his family safely, due to the generosity of His Excellency Mr. Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan.

We would like to express our deep gratitude to the President of Azerbaijan, His Excellency Mr. Ilham Aliyev and the Azerbaijan judo family.

Once again, judo proved to be an incredible tool against war and conflict situations and the release of the young judoka is proof of the power and high moral values that our sport is carrying, surpassing conflict and animosity. The solidarity and the unity of the international judo family has no borders and we are all united by the common goal of mutual aid and prosperity.

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