World Taekwondo revokes Vladimir Putin's honorary black belt

Governing body says Moscow's actions went against the sport's vision: 'Peace is more precious than triumph'

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has had his honorary black belt in taekwondo revoked by the sport's governing body in response to the military action in Ukraine.

As Russian troops amass outside Kiev, and hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees flee into neighbouring countries, world leaders have heaped economic sanctions on Putin and his closest allies, as well as Russian-linked businesses.

World Taekwondo, which governs international federations for the sport, was the latest organisation to condemn Putin, saying on Tuesday that Moscow's actions went against the sport's vision: "Peace is more precious than triumph."

"In this regard, World Taekwondo has decided to withdraw the honorary 9th dan black belt conferred to Mr Vladimir Putin in November 2013," the Seoul-based body said.

It added that official taekwondo events would not be organised in Russia or Belarus.

In line with the International Olympic Committee's urging, the flags and anthems of both countries will also not be displayed or played at taekwondo events around the world.

"World Taekwondo's thoughts are with the people of Ukraine and we hope for a peaceful and immediate end to this war," it said.