Iran suspended from world judo over Israel boycott policy

AP

Print Article

In this photo taken Sept. 12, 2019, Iranian judoka Saeid Mollaei poses for a portrait photo at an undisclosed southern city of Germany. Saeid Mollaei has been in hiding since he left the Iranian judo team last month, saying he had been ordered to withdraw from the world championships on political grounds. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) Iran has been suspended from international judo competitions because it boycotts bouts with Israeli athletes.

Less than a month after world champion Saeid Mollaei walked off the Iranian team in protest of the boycott policy, the International Judo Federation (IJF) said Wednesday that Iran is suspended ahead of a full hearing.

Iran's judo federation is accused of discriminating against Israeli athletes and breaking rules over manipulating competition results.

"The IJF Executive Committee considered that such a conduct is intolerable," the federation said.

Mollaei has said he was repeatedly ordered by Iranian officials to lose matches or withdraw from competitions, including last month's world championships, so as not to face Israelis. He is currently in hiding in Germany.

The president of Iran's judo federation, Arash Miresmaeili, condemned the IJF for suspending it and called it "hasty and unfair", semi-official Mehr news agency reported Wednesday.

Miresmaeli said the IJF sent an e-mail on Sept. 13 and asked Iran to send a report to defend itself, "Unfortunately, once we saw the World Federation's e-mail today, it is completely apart from the routine...".

Iran does not recognize Israel as a country, and Iranian sports teams have for several decades had a policy of not competing against Israelis.

IJF spokesman Vlad Marinescu said any ban won't apply to next year's Tokyo Olympics. That's because it's the Iranian Olympic Committee, not the Iranian judo federation, that formally enters the Olympic team.

Meanwhile, the IJF is exploring ways to allow Mollaei to compete on the International Olympic Committee's team of refugees.

The IOC has signaled a harder line on boycotts in recent years.

In June, IOC President Thomas Bach criticized governments who "clearly abuse sport for their political purposes," noting a case in May of a Tunisian court blocking four Israelis from competing at the taekwondo junior world championships.

___

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Print Article

Read More World News

Asian shares rise after Wall Street gain on solid earnings

AP

October 15, 2019 at 7:42 pm | TOKYO (AP) Asian shares were higher Wednesday after a gain on Wall Street boosted by healthy earnings reports from U.S. companies. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 1.6% in morning trading to 2...

Comments

Read More

Russia seeks to cement its role as power broker in Syria

AP

October 15, 2019 at 3:01 pm | CEYLANPINAR, Turkey (AP) Russia moved to fill the void left by the United States in northern Syria on Tuesday, deploying troops to keep apart advancing Syrian government forces and Turkish troops. ...

Comments

Read More

Trump's sanctions won't bite a vulnerable Turkish economy

AP

October 15, 2019 at 11:30 am | FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) The sanctions the U.S. announced against Turkey this week over its offensive in Syria fall well short of doing serious damage to an economy still healing from a recession an...

Comments

Read More

Nigerian police raid frees scores of beaten, starved boys

AP

October 15, 2019 at 9:45 am | LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) Beaten. Starved. Sexually assaulted. Chained. For the second time in a month, police in northern Nigeria have raided a building where hundreds of boys were held in dehumanizing ...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 664-8176
215 N. Second St
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

©2019 The Coeur d'Alene Press Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X