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September 19, 2019 10:43 am

International Judo Federation Gives Iran the Chop

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Israeli Sagi Muki, winner of the 2019 World Judo Championship. Photo: Naoki Nishimura/AFLO SPORT/Reuters. – The International Judo Federation (IJF) declared on Wednesday that Iran is forbidden from participating in any future judo competitions under its auspices, condemning the Islamic Republic for its continued unsportsmanlike conduct in preventing its judokas from taking part in matches against Israeli athletes.

In a statement, the global judo organization said Iranian judoka Saeid Mollaei had “been instructed by the Iranian authorities and the Iran Judo Federation to withdraw from competing to avoid a potential contest against an Israeli athlete … Sagi Muki.”

The letter went on to state that “During the 2004 Olympic Games, the actual President of the Iran Judo Federation, Mr. Arash Miresmaeili, had been instructed by the Iranian authorities to withdraw from competing to avoid a potential contest against an Israeli athlete. The same situation happened also during the 2019 Paris Grand Slam regarding Mr. Saeid Mollaei.”

The information came to light after Mollaei’s loss at the Judo World Championship in Tokyo, after which members of the IJF helped him flee to Germany, where he revealed that he had been ordered to lose his matches in order to avoid having to compete against Muki.

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Those instructions are in contravention of IJF regulations and the Olympic Charter, which Iran promised to fully abide by in letters sent by it to the IJF on March 8 and March 15.

After the truth was revealed, the IJF issued “a protective suspension from all competitions, administrative and social activities organized or authorized by International Judo Federation and its Unions, started from 18 September 2019 to the final Commission decision regarding this case.”

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