Iran appeals against judo ban because it evades Israeli opponents

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FILE - Saeid Mollaei of Mongolia celebrates with his silver medal during the award ceremony for the judo match of men -81kg at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan on July 27th, 2021. The appeal of the Iranian Judo Federation against a four year old Bans on international events for refusing to allow his athletes to compete against opponents from Israel were heard, and a verdict should take at least several weeks.  The IJF acted against <a class=Iran after former world champion Saeid Mollaei left the team in 2019. Mollaei won a silver medal in competition for Mongolia at the Tokyo Olympics. (AP photo / Vincent Thian)” title=”FILE – Saeid Mollaei of Mongolia celebrates with his silver medal during the award ceremony for the judo match of men -81kg at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan on July 27th, 2021. The appeal of the Iranian Judo Federation against a four year old Bans on international events for refusing to allow his athletes to compete against opponents from Israel were heard, and a verdict should take at least several weeks. The IJF acted against Iran after former world champion Saeid Mollaei left the team in 2019. Mollaei won a silver medal in competition for Mongolia at the Tokyo Olympics. (AP photo / Vincent Thian)” loading=”lazy”/>

FILE – Saeid Mollaei of Mongolia celebrates with his silver medal during the award ceremony for the judo match of men -81kg at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan on July 27th, 2021. The appeal of the Iranian Judo Federation against a four year old Bans on international events for refusing to allow his athletes to compete against opponents from Israel were heard, and a verdict should take at least several weeks. The IJF acted against Iran after former world champion Saeid Mollaei left the team in 2019. Mollaei won a silver medal in competition for Mongolia at the Tokyo Olympics. (AP photo / Vincent Thian)

AP

The appeal of the Iranian Judo Federation against a four-year ban on international events for refusing to allow its athletes to compete against opponents from Israel was heard on Tuesday.

The Sports Arbitration Court said the Iranian appeal against a ruling by the International Judo Federation was video-linked. A judgment should take at least several weeks.

The IJF cracked down on Iran after former world champion Saeid Mollaei left the team claiming he was ordered to lose games at the 2019 World Cup so as not to fight Israelis.

Mollaei fled to Germany fearing for his safety in Iran and later received approval from the International Olympic Committee to compete for Mongolia. At the Olympic Games in Tokyo in July, he won a silver medal in the 81-kilogram class.

The IFJ initially imposed an indefinite ban on the Iranian Federation until its discrimination policy was changed. That was overturned at CAS and the case was sent back to the governing body, which agreed on a four-year suspension in April.

The provisional ban, which could be lifted if Iranian officials give their athletes free rein, is slated to apply until September 2023.


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