Iran Judo Federation banned after pressuring athlete to boycott competition against Israeli
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The Iran Judo Federation has been suspended from all international competitions for allegedly pressuring one of its fighters to pull out of the World Championship to avoid fighting an Israeli.

Iranian judoka Saeid Mollaei said his coach received two calls from Iranian authorities ordering his fighter to pull out of the Tokyo tournament to avoid the possibility of meeting Israeli judoka Sagi Muki in the final.

After ignoring those calls and ultimately losing in the semifinals, Mollaei traveled to Germany to begin the process of applying for asylum.


He says he feared for his safety and that of his family back home, according to CNN.

Salehi Amiri, the president of Iran's Olympic Committee, said Mollaei and his family "will not and have not faced any threats or danger."

According to the International Judo Federation, Iran's actions constitute a breach of multiple codes of conduct.

Iranian athletes have been prohibited from competing against Israeli athletes for a long time, and the issue has come up in judo before.

The international body's Disciplinary Commission ruled Wednesday that because of the repeated actions of the Iran federation, it has "strong reason to believe that the Iran Judo Federation will continue or repeatedly engage in misconduct or commit any other offence against the legitimate interests, principles or objectives of the IJF [International Judo Federation]."

The "protective suspension" will begin immediately and will encompass all "competitions, administrative and social activities organized or authorized by International Judo Federation and its unions."