Last Update 22:46
Thursday, 24 October 2019

Judo: Iran suspended after pressurizing fighter not to face Israeli

Reuters , Wednesday 18 Sep 2019
 Judo Championships
FILE PHOTO: 2019 World Judo Championships
Share/Bookmark
Views: 735
Share/Bookmark
Views: 735

Iran was suspended from international competition by the International Judo Federation (IJF) on Wednesday for putting pressure on one of its fighters to withdraw from the world judo championships to avoid having to face an Israeli opponent.

The Iran Judo Federation was hit with a "protective suspension from all competitions, administrative and social activities organized or authorized by the IJF and its unions" until a final decision is issued by the IJF's disciplinary arm.

Iran has 21 days to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the IJF said in a statement on its website https://www.ijf.org/news/show/iran-judo-federation-suspended.

The IJF said Iran judoka Saeid Mollaei, the 2018 world champion, was pressured by Iranian authorities to drop out of his quarter- and semi-final at last month's world championships in Tokyo to avoid a potential final with Israel's Sagi Muki.

Mollaei, who is in hiding in Germany, has refused to return to Iran over fears for his safety after ignoring the orders from the country's National Olympic Committee and government.

The IJF said Iran's actions constituted "a serious breach and gross violation" of the governing body's principles and the Olympic Charter.

"The IJF Executive Committee considered that such conduct is intolerable (and) has decided to initiate a disciplinary procedure against the Iran Judo Federation," the IJF added.

Iran's Olympic committee was not immediately available to comment.

This is not the first time athletes from Arab nations or Iran have been ordered to pull out or refused to compete with Israeli athletes at the Olympics or other international competitions.

Since its Islamic Revolution in 1979 Iran has refused to recognize Israel as a country and the two have been arch-enemies for decades.

At the 2004 Athens Olympics, then-Iranian world champion Arash Mirasmaeili, the current president of the Iran Judo Federation, refused to fight Israeli judoka Ehud Vaks, earning praise back home.

At the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016, Egyptian judoka Islam El Shehaby was sent home after refusing to shake the hand of Israeli Or Sasson following the end of their bout.

The IJF's Disciplinary Commission said on Wednesday that Mollaei was also ordered to withdraw from competing at the 2019 Paris Grand Slam to avoid having to face an Israeli athlete.

"The Commission has a strong reason to believe that the Iran Judo Federation will continue or repeatedly engage in misconduct or commit any other offence against the legitimate interests, principles or objectives of the IJF," it added.

Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.