Marius Vizer, President of the International Judo Federation (IJF), has given Japan until October 15 to produce a report into the abuse scandal which has rocked the sport there so they can punish those involved in it.
Vizer, visiting Tokyo on his first overseas trip since being elected as the new President of SportAccord last month,warned the All-Japan Judo Federation (AJJF) that they needed to make sure they took positive action in case it jeopardized his plans to raise the sport’s profile even further within the Olympic Movement.
Ryuji Sonoda was forced to resign as head coach of Japan's women's team after allegations of physical and emotional abuse.
“The IJF follows very carefully the present situation in Japanese judo,” he said. “The IJF with the All-Japan Judo Federation will do our best to clean up the situation and start with new reforms and new development in Japanese judo.”In February this year members of Japan’s national women’s team revealed that their coach, Ryuji Sonoda, physically and emotionally abused members of team, using a bamboo sword to beat them up, calling them “ugly” and telling them to “die.”He resigned but then, in April, reports emerged that some AJJF officials allegedly received Government subsidies for coaches even when they were not technically coaches.
Then last month another official, Jiro Fukuda, allegedly made unwanted sexual advances towards a female athlete in 2011 and is now facing expulsion.Vizer announced that he had given the AJJF until October 15 to submit a full report on the incidents and that the IJF would take appropriate action against any illegal acts.He claimed the visit to the Japanese capital was aimed at grasping the ”situation” in Japan as the IJF wants to convince the IOC to allow a team competition to be added to the judo programme for Rio 2016.
“We have a great chance to go with the teams to the Rio Olympics,” said Vizer.
Last month the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board IOC promoted judo to the third tier of Olympic sports, meaning the sport will benefit from more of the revenue generated by the Games.
Contact the writer of this story at email@example.com. Inside the Games is an online blog of the London Organizing Committee that staged the 2012 London Games. The blog continues to cover issues that are important to the Olympic Movement. This article is reprinted here with permission of the blog editors.