Iran's Wrestling Team Will Not Go to U.S. If Fingerprinted

February 19, 2003 - 0:0
TEHRAN -- President of Iran's Wrestling Federation (IWF) Mohammadreza Taleqani announced on Monday if the U.S. insists on fingerprinting the Iranian freestyle national team at their arrival, the team will not be sent to take part in 2003 World Freestyle Wrestling Championships.

He said the IWF in a letter called on the International Wrestling Federation (FILA) to expedite a response in order to clarify the situation of the Iranian team.

"The response will be announced in the next two days," Taleqani added.

"If we are given the due respect, we have no qualms in sending the wrestling team to international tournaments," Taleqani said. "The team has been approved to be dispatched for 2003 World Freestyle Wrestling Championships in the United States and we have made it clear that Iran will not participate in case athletes are fingerprinted."

Taleqani said in January that the federation has decided to send Iranian freestyle wrestlers to the World Cup in Boise, Idaho, in April and the world championships at New York's Madison Square Garden in September 2003.

FILA has set the 2003 bouts as qualifiers for 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.