Iran suspended by judo authorities until 2023 for refusing to face Israelis
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Iran suspended by judo authorities until 2023 for refusing to face Israelis

This decision reaffirms a ban and appears to preclude Iran from competing in judo in the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

Sagi Muki upon winning gold
Sagi Muki upon winning gold

The Iranian national judo team was suspended from international competition until September 2023 for forfeiting matches against Israeli opponents due to a boycott.

The decision extends an ongoing suspension of the Iran Judo Federation that began in 2019, according to a statement from the International Judo Federation. In March, the international group said it would drop the suspension if Iran guaranteed it would allow its judokas to fight Israelis.

This decision reaffirms the ban and appears to preclude Iran from competing in judo in the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

The original ban was instituted when an Iranian judoka said he had been ordered to throw matches at the 2019 World Judo Championships in order to avoid fighting an Israeli, Sagi Muki, who went on to win the tournament.

The statement called Iran’s policy “a scheme whereby the Athlete was required to lose before even getting to the point where he had to face an Israeli athlete in an attempt to disguise the underlying true motive from the IJF and the public.”

Israeli world champion judoka Sagi Muki, right, and Iranian champion Saeid Mollaei embrace at the Paris Grand Slam, February 10, 2020, in an Instagram photo posted online by Muki. (Instagram screen capture via Times of Israel)

 

 

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