The IJF said all vaccines should be recognised for the purposes of sporting events to give all athletes a "fair chance of participation" ©Getty Images

The International Judo Federation (IJF) has called for organisers of sports events to admit "all available vaccines" against COVID-19 as valid jabs in the build-up to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Following the conclusion of the Grand Slam in Paris yesterday, the IJF praised the French Government and President Emmanuel Macron for its policy of requiring participants at sports events to be inoculated against COVID-19, and "their wise decision to recognise all vaccines that were developed across the world".

This, it argued, "fostered an inclusive ethos and enabled all countries to participate".

The IJF said recognising all available vaccines was crucial to ensure all athletes had a "fair chance of participation" with qualifiers for Paris 2024 set to begin this year, and urged "the entire Olympic Movement and the wider sports family" to implement similar measures.

The IJF added that the decision, combined with its own COVID-19 protocols including the use of a bubble system, "allowed us to hold an iconic judo event, without major disruptions or health issues".

France requires proof of vaccination to enter public places including bars and restaurants, and Government has claimed unvaccinated athletes will not be permitted to take par in major events including tennis' French Open.

International recognition of the Russian-developed Sputnik vaccine is mixed ©Getty Images
International recognition of the Russian-developed Sputnik vaccine is mixed ©Getty Images

Controversy has erupted in other sports, particularly concerning the status of the Russian-developed Sputnik vaccine, which has yet to be approved by the World Health Organization.

In December last year, Russian athletes were forced to miss Freestyle Ski World Cups in the United States and Canada, where the Sputnik jab is not recognised and therefor the athletes could not obtain visas.

Andrei Makhnev and Artem Shuldiakov had taken their bids to feature at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics to the Court of Arbitration of Sport's Ad Hoc Division in the Chinese capital, having been prevented from travelling to the World Cups and thus unable to collect qualification points.

The panel ruled that "it did not have jurisdiction to hear the matter".

Russia's qualification matches for the 2022 Women's Basketball World Cup against Belgium and Puerto Rico this month have been moved from Washington D.C. to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic because of the vaccine issue, while the tie against the US has been cancelled.

The WHO has approved 10 COVID-19 vaccines for use, and called for "fair and equitable access" to ensure they are made available across the world.