Judo fed­er­a­tion bans Iran

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Sport -

Per­sian lan­guage chan­nel Iran In­ter­na­tional.

“God for­bid some­thing would hap­pen to my fam­ily. But I serve my coun­try and what­ever medal I get be­longs to Iran, whether it’s un­der the Iran or IOC flag,” he added.

“I feel sorry that maybe I won’t be able to com­pete for Iran again. But I didn’t train this hard just to put up this show of los­ing.”

The Times of Is­rael quoted the Is­raeli coach as say­ing Mol­laei’s fam­ily had been threat­ened.

“From what we un­der­stand,” said Moshe Fonti. “Ira­nian in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cials came both to his home in Iran and to the judo arena and warned him.”

The state­ment said the IJF “notes that sim­i­lar acts have been ob­served in the past.”

It gave as an ex­am­ple Arash Mires­maeili, Iran’s flag bearer at the 2004 Athens Olympics and a favourite in the 66kg class. He was drawn to face Is­raeli Ehud Vaks in the first round but was too heavy at the weigh in and was dis­qual­i­fied with­out fight­ing. Mires­maeili is now the head of Iran’s judo fed­er­a­tion.

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