Multiple-time judo and sambo champion Anatoly Bondarenko has died ©Getty Images

Prolific judo and sambo champion Anatoly Bondarenko has died at the age of 78 after suffering from COVID-19, it has been announced.

Bondarenko represented the Soviet Union in both sports during his career.

He was crowned men’s under-80 kilograms European judo champion in 1964, topping the podium in Berlin.

Bondarenko repeated the feat in the Oostende in 1969, while he was the bronze medallist in Madrid in 1965.

The judoka also helped the Soviet Union to win the European team titles in Berlin and Madrid, with a third crown sealed again in 1970, also in Berlin.

Team bronze medals at the European Championship were also claimed in 1967 and 1969.

Bondarenko was also a successful national sambo player, with the International Sambo Federation among the organisations paying tribute.

"Anatoly Bondarenko died, the pandemic, unfortunately, did not pass him by," FIAS vice-president Sergei Eliseev told the Russian state news agency TASS.

"He was sick for a while, but the coronavirus was the last straw.

"A meeting will be held soon of all the leaders and representatives of the National Federations, where we will honour the memory of our friend and colleague, this is a great loss for both Russian and international sambo."

Bondarenko was a six-time national sambo champion.

He secured his first three titles consecutively between 1963 and 1965.

Bondarenko returned to the top of the podium in 1968 and 1969, before claiming his final national title in 1973.

He retired from the sport in 1975.