The Iranian Judo Association remains suspended from all activities until judokas from that country are allowed to fight against Israelis again, according to the International Federation IJF on Tuesday.
The reason for the exclusion is a deliberate defeat of Saeid Mollaei during the August World Cup in Tokyo. The defending champion in the class up to 81 kilograms was on his way to reach the final and there was a good chance that he would hit the Israeli Sagi Muki in the battle for the gold.
The Iranian authorities and the national judo association demanded that Mollaei withdraw due to political tensions between the two countries: Iran does not recognize Israel as a country. Despite increasing pressure, Mollaei did not respond to the request, but lost his semi-final on purpose and then went into hiding.
More than a month ago, the Iranian judo federation was suspended indefinitely by the IJF, and in the meantime, the global federation has been looking at statements from all parties.
The Iranian association claims that Mollaei is lying and that the top judoka has never been pressured, but the IJF does not agree. The organization takes into account that in the past such controversies were more frequent.
Just as after the provisional suspension decision in September, the Iranian federation has 21 days to challenge the decision before the international sports tribunal CAS.
Saeid Mollaei in action during the World Judo World Championship in Tokyo. (Photo: Getty Images)