Mon, 14 Oct 2019

Iran has been suspended from international judo competitions because of its it boycott of Israeli athletes.

The International Judo Federation (IJF) said on September 18 that Iran was suspended ahead of a full hearing. Its judo federation is accused of discriminating against Israeli athletes and breaking rules over manipulating competition results.

The federation said it had 'a strong reason to believe that the Iran Judo Federation will continue or repeatedly engage in misconduct or commit any other offense against the legitimate interests, principles, or objectives of the IJF.'

The suspension comes after world champion Saeid Mollaei last month walked off the Iranian team in protest at the boycott policy.

Mollaei has said he was repeatedly ordered by Iranian sports officials to throw matches or withdraw from tournaments, including last month's world championships, so as not to face Israeli competitors.

Mollaei is currently in hiding in Germany.

Iran does not recognize Israel, and Iranian sports teams have employed a policy of not competing against Israelis for the past several decades.

With reporting by AP

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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