Iranian judo returns to international stage after 4 years…’deliberate defeat’ punishment over
기사입력 2023.09.19. 08:52 AM 최종수정 2023.09.19. 08:53 AM

Iran’s judo team will return to the international stage after serving a four-year ban for ordering the deliberate defeat of a national athlete in a match against an Israeli fighter.

Iran has registered four judoka – Mariam Berbat (women’s 70kg), Abolfazl Mahmoudi (men’s 66kg), Mehdi Fatipour (men’s 66kg) and Qasim Bakhchaghi (men’s 81kg) – for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, which begin on Wednesday.

It will be four years since Iranian judokas competed on the international stage at the 2019 International Judo Federation (IJF) World Championships.바카라사이트

Iran sparked controversy at the 2019 World Championships when it ordered its own athlete, Saeid Molarei, to lose in the men’s 81kg semifinals.

At the time, Mollarei’s semifinal victory would have put him in the final against Israel’s Sagi Mukhi, with whom he has a hostile relationship.

Iran was uncomfortable with its athlete greeting and competing with the Israeli and demanded a deliberate loss, and Mollarei actually withdrew from the semifinal.

The incident came to light when Molarei blew the whistle on the international community.

The IJF suspended Iranian athletes from international competition indefinitely until Iran guaranteed that it would stop boycotting matches with Israel.

Iran then appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which reduced the punishment to a four-year international suspension.

The Iranian Judo Federation formalized the athlete’s return to international competition once the suspension was over.

“We are sending four athletes to the Hangzhou Games,” Iranian Judo Federation President Arash Miresmaeili said at the organization’s general assembly on Monday, according to Inside the Games. “We have been through a painful time in the past four years, but we have tried to defend our beliefs and values.”

Meanwhile, Mollarei, who exposed Iran’s behavior, lived as a refugee in Germany and was naturalized in Mongolia in December 2019, before switching his citizenship back to Azerbaijan last year.

Azerbaijan will not compete at the Hangzhou Asian Games because it is a European organization. The same goes for the Israeli athletes.

Iranian judokas will meet Molarei and the Israelis at the Paris Olympics next year.

Iran is still reluctant to face Israel.

“Iranian athletes cannot compete against a criminal regime (Israel) to win a medal,” Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, said at a meeting with medalists from the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

Iran has not recognized Israel as a state since the 1979 Islamic Revolution and has refused to compete with Israel in sporting events.

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