Iran has been suspended from international judo competitions because of its policy of boycotting bouts with Israeli athletes.

Less than a month after Iranian athlete Saeid Mollaei walked off his national team in protest of the boycott policy, the International Judo Federation (IJF) said Wednesday that Iran was suspended ahead of a full hearing.

The Iranian judo star said he was afraid to return home after exposing and criticizing his government’s pressure on him to deliberately lose his semifinal bout in last month’s World Championships in Tokyo so as not to risk facing Israel’s Sagi Muki, the eventual winner, in the Tokyo final.

Related article: Iranian judoka flees to Germany, refuses to compete for Iran so he can face Israelis

“Following what happened during the last World Judo Championships Tokyo 2019, the International Judo Federation pronounces against the Iran Judo Federation a protective suspension from all competitions, administrative and social activities organized or authorized by International Judo Federation and its Unions,” the IJF said in a statement on its website.

“The Commission has a strong reason to believe that the Iran Judo Federation will continue or repeatedly engage in misconduct or commit any other offence against the legitimate interests, principles or objectives of the IJF,” the statement said.

Iran’s judo federation is accused of discriminating against Israeli athletes and breaking rules over manipulating competition results.

The suspension went into force immediately, and is subject to an appeal that can be filed by the Iranian federation within 21 days.

Iran does not recognize Israel as a country, and Iranian sports teams have for several decades had a policy of not competing against Israelis. Iranian passports remind holders in bold red they are “not entitled to travel to occupied Palestine.”

Read the full story at Times of Israel

Related Articles:

Pro-Israel supporters show up for Israel: 40,000 in London, 100,000 in New York

Records were broken when pro-Israel supporters took to the streets in London and New York calling for the release of the 125 hostages still held by Hamas in Gaza and to show their...

King George’s D-Day call to pray “continuously” inspired nations around the world to turn to God

On 6 June 1944, King George VI addressed the nations in a speech that was broadcast throughout the world. Naming countries of the Empire and our other Allies, including the United...

Rafah lies prove the world needs little evidence to demonise Israel

This week, we once again witnessed how the lies of Hamas helped to fuel a campaign of hatred against Israel that reach global proportions. The world needs little excuse to become...

Christian Zionists may be outnumbered, but we are speaking God’s truth

Too often, Israel is seen as a popularity contest, especially on social media. Humans are quite simple really, we look at the number of likes a post has and assume that because it is...

The Lord is fighting for Israel – Iran’s Raisi learned the hard way

“The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” – Exodus 14:14 On Sunday, President Ebrahim Raisi’s helicopter crashed into the side of a mountain, killing him...

FREE COPY: Understanding the threat from Iran

Covering the threat from Iran to Israel and the West, plus the plight of the Iranian people: Read our Operation Mordecai campaign booklet online or receive a FREE copy by post.