Answer to the letter of the Ukrainian Judo Federation. In judo there is no place for politics, war and discrimination.

Dear Mr. President,

Judo is an art, a philosophy and a way of life. The values of our sport are those which have always prevailed over the decision of some governments to create division and hate between nations.

Sport is and will always be the unique bridge between nations. We are certainly against the war, but also against hate. Young people, and especially athletes, must be role models for their generations and for the generations to come. Athletes cannot be held responsible for the decisions of some leaders, especially in a context where they chose to compete, instead of going to war. Sport means friendship, unity, solidarity, and peace.

Throughout history, humanity has faced wars and horrors, but it seems we have not learned our lessons. Unfortunately, as long as the military industry is prosperous, at world level we can only dream of peace. This is a tragedy for humanity.

In Judo, we will not encourage division and hate. We must live together now and in the future. No negative force should be allowed to divide a family like the Judo Family and moreover, I consider that we must be an example also for other communities.

I am deeply disappointed by the fact that in this conflict we are only talking about the victory of one side or the other, instead of peace. We should be the ones to inspire through sport the conflicting parties and to show them that peace is the unique solution in order to stop the conflict and bring back global stability.

We must be united in good times and in bad times. We cannot punish people who are not responsible for the deeds of others. This would mean to discriminate, and in our sport war, politics and discrimination have no place.

With best regards,

Marius L. Vizer

President International Judo Federation

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