Iran Judo Federation Suspended Over Boycott Israel Policy

The International Judo Federation (IJF) announced on Wednesday that Iran has been suspended until a full hearing.

The IJF statement reads: “The International Judo Federation has been informed that during the last 2019 World Championships in Tokyo, a judoka from Iran Mr. Saeid Mollaei has been instructed by the Iranian authorities and the Iran Judo Federation to withdraw from competing to avoid a potential contest against an Israeli athlete.”

In an exclusive interview with Iran international, Mollaei said that he was ordered to lose his fight in Tokyo by Iranian officials. He confirmed in the interview that before the fight, the Chairman of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) and a deputy from the Ministry of Sports called and asked him to lose so he would not move on to fight the Israeli opponent.

According to Mollaei, the Iranian sports officials asked him to do so in a way that the IJF would not suspect that he is avoiding the fight with the Israeli opponent.

The IJF statement continues: “These facts and actions are in gross contradiction with the content of the letter sent to the IJF on May 8th, 2019 under the signature of President of the Iran’s National Olympic Committee and President of Iran’s Judo Federation, which categorically confirms that “…by means of this letter, we would like to confirm that the I.R. Iran NOC shall fully respect the Olympic Charter and its non-discrimination principle and the I.R. Iran Federation shall fully comply with the Olympic Charter and the IJF Statutes…”.

Iran has 21 days to object to this verdict.

One Iranian NOC official said: “The committee has not officially received the letter from IJF and we were informed of their decision from the media, so we cannot have an official response yet.”

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