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March 1, 2021 2:31 pm

Court of Arbitration Overturns International Judo Federation’s Ban on Iran Over Discrimination Against Israeli Athletes

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Judo – World Judo Championships – Men’s Under 81 kg – Nippon Budokan, Tokyo, Japan – August 28, 2019 – Iran’s Saeid Mollaei reacts. Photo: REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon.

A court of arbitration overthrew on Monday a decision to suspend Iran from international judo events due to its discrimination against Israeli athletes, the Associated Press reported.

The International Judo Federation banned Iran from competition in Oct. 2019 after Iranian former world champion judoka Saeid Mollaei defected to Germany and revealed that the Iranian team had forced him to throw matches and leave competitions so as not to compete against Israeli athletes.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport found that Iran’s judo federation “committed severe violations of the IJF rules” against racist discrimination, but that the ban was too severe.

It suggested, however, that Iran should face lesser punishment for its conduct.

Mollaei will be permitted to compete in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics on the Mongolian team.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) ruled that Mollaei’s participation for Mongolia did not require approval from Iranian Olympic officials because he is a refugee.

Due to a technicality, no action by the IJF against Iran will affect its Olympic participation, as Iran’s judo team is fielded by its Olympic Committee and not its national judo team.

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