Saeid Mollaei held hostage by IJF: Salehi Amiri

February 8, 2020 - 15:56

TEHRAN - Iranian National Olympic Committee President Reza Salehi Amiri says that Saeid Mollaei has been taken hostage by the International Judo Federation (IJF).

The Iran Judo Federation has been suspended of the from all competitions, administrative and social activities organized or authorized by the International Judo Federation and its Unions.

The IJF says that during the last 2019 World Championships in Tokyo, Mollaei has been instructed by the Iranian authorities and the Iran Judo Federation to withdraw from competing to avoid a potential contest against an Israeli athlete. It’s while the Iranian top official considers it as part of a project to suspend Iran’s sports.

“We have filed a lawsuit against IJF and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will hear the appeal case on April 8. We believe that IJF President Marius Vizer has convinced Mollaei to compete under a refugee flag at Tokyo 2020. Our athlete has been taken hostage by them. Vizer then sent Mollai to Germany from Tokyo according to a prearranged plan,” Salehi Amiri said.

“Mollaei can go back to Iran without any problems and we welcome him with open arms,” the NOCIR president added.

Iran has earned 41 quota places for the 2020 Olympic Games so far and Salehi Amiri says that the Iranian athletes will win more places for the prestigious event.

“We can book more quota places in athletic and martial arts for Olympics,” he stated.

The Iranian delegation finished in 25th place in the previous edition held in Rio, winning three gold, one silver and four bronze medals and Salehi Amiri says they will try to improve their position in the upcoming Games.

“We received an overall good evaluation from our delegation in Tokyo, however we should not put our athletes under pressure for wining medals,” he concluded.

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