The message reads, in part:
“Numerous judo enthusiasts know you as a talented athlete, who is committed to the highest ideals of sports and Olympism, and who has done much to advance and popularise martial arts.
Of course, for Russian judo fans, you serve as an example of a successful, wise mentor and a true professional, who knows how to inspire his students to win.
It is no coincidence that Russian judokas won their first Olympic gold in history under your guidance. Today, they continue to perform admirably at prestigious world-class sports events.”