0813 GMT November 29, 2020
The International Judo Federation (IJF) on Wednesday suspended the Islamic Republic of Iran Judo Federation from all competitions, administrative and social activities.
The suspension came after the incidents at last August’s World Judo Championships and the controversy surrounding the Iranian -81kg representative Saeid Mollaei.
According to IJF, the world judo governing body had been informed that during the competitions in the Japanese capital Tokyo, Mollaei intentionally lost to his Belgian rival to avoid a potential contest against an Israeli athlete.
IJF said that these facts and actions are in gross contradiction with the content of the letter sent to the international body on May 8, 2019, under the signature of Seyyed Reza Salehi-Amiri, the president of the I.R. Iran NOC and Arash Mir-Esmaeili, the president of Iran Judo Federation, which categorically confirmed that “…by means of this letter, we would like to confirm that the I.R. Iran NOC shall fully respect the Olympic Charter and its non-discrimination principle and the I.R. Iran Federation shall fully comply with the Olympic Charter and the IJF Statutes…”.
In that letter, Salehi-Amiri indicated that, through a predetermined scenario, the IJF president, Marius Vizer, depicted a stressful condition for the Iranian judoka and indoctrinated him with the false fact that he would face trouble if returning home, stating, “Promising to support him to join the Olympic Refugee Team, Marius Vizer has persuaded Mollaei to seek asylum in Germany; the reason for his failure in the IJF World Championship was this stressful situation.”
“Kindly be informed that I have sent my message to Mollaei and reassured him that neither himself nor his family have not faced or would not face any threats while guaranteeing that he would be welcome with open arms in Iran,” the letter read.
The Iranian federation will have 21 days to appeal against the verdict to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).