International Judo Federation Suspends Iran 4 Years

Iran Judo Suspension

The International Judo Federation imposed a four-year ban on the nation of Iran Thursday for preventing its athletes from facing Israeli judoka in competitions. The case had been referred back to the IJF's disciplinary commission in March after the Court of Appeal for Sport overturned an indefinite ban on Iran as not being within the federation's regulations.

The case stemmed from accusations brought by former world champion Saeid Mollaei who, while representing Iran at the 2019 world championships, said he was ordered to lose a match to avoid facing Israeli Sagi Muki. Mollaei has since defected from Iran and now represents Mongolia.

In decreeing the 4-year suspension of Iran, which is backdated to September 18, 2019, the IJF cited the court's finding that Iran engaged in "an institutionalized scheme" to avoid competing against Israeli athletes.

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