- I need help. Although the authorities in my country say that I can come back without problems, I am afraid, said Mollaei according to the AP.
Saeid Mollaei, Iran, and Sagi Muki, Israel, were both top-ranked before the championship and Mollaei had convincingly made it to the semi-finals, where he surprisingly lost. The day after, the IJF announced that Mollaei had lost with diligence to avoid being pitted against Israel in the final and that he had been ordered by Deputy Iranian Sports Minister Davar Zani to withdraw from the championship.
"If I had competed further, I would have had problems," says Mollaei in one of the IJF's own broadcasts.
Can compete under Olympic flag
Later, the president of the Iranian Olympic Committee, Reza Salehi Amiri, also called Mollaei and said security forces were in place at his parents' house, according to the AP.
This has now had consequences for the Iranian Judo League, as the IJF supports Mollaei's allegations. According to the IJF website, the Iranian Judo Federation has been suspended from all competitions or activities organized by the IJF.
Saeid Mollaei may compete under the Olympic flag in the Olympics in a year.
- I want to compete in all competitions I can. But I live in a country whose laws do not allow me to do so. We have no choice, all athletes must follow it, says Mollaei, according to AP.
The Iranian Judo Association has not yet commented on the suspension.