Iranian-born Mollaei free to compete for Mongolia

March 4, 2020 - 14:47

TEHRAN - Iranian-born former world champion judoka Saeid Mollaei is free to compete for Mongolia, the International Olympic Committee confirmed.

Mollaei's switch did not need permission from Iranian Olympic officials, IOC spokesman Mark Adams said.

In October, the International Judo Federation said it had banned Iran from international competition over the country's refusal to face Israeli opponents.

Iran said the ban was based on "false claims" and has an April 8 appeal hearing against the IJF at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Mollaei, the 2018 world champion in the under-81 kilograms category, made his debut for Mongolia at the IJF World Judo Masters in Qingdao in December.

Since its Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iran has refused to recognize Israel.

Mollaei's change was one of 11 approved by the IOC's ruling body.

Mollaei, who has been living in Germany, may now qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

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