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:

Man arrested for slapping Jewish teen for TikTok video

A man from Jerusalem was arrested on suspicion of slapping a Jewish youth on the light rail train and uploading footage of the incident to TikTok. The 21-year-old Arab man...

Israel celebrates Independence Day in style!

Israel Air Force fighter jets took to the skies of Israel on Thursday in celebration of its 73rd Independence Day amid a lifting of most COVID restrictions.The annual flyover was limited...

Armani removes ‘offensive’ jacket resembling Holocaust camp uniform

Luxury clothing brand Armani has removed an offensive jacket from their collection following a request from StandWithUs, who praised the organisation for being so responsive...

Israeli bus set on fire and pelted with rocks after mistakenly entering Arab area of Jerusalem

A bus that took a wrong turn into an Arab neighbourhood of Jerusalem was pelted with rocks and set on fire with Molotov cocktails, causing the bus driver and his family to flee.There...

NASA names two asteroids after Israeli student who discovered them

NASA has named two asteroids after the Israeli student who found them during an international competition carried out by the space agency.Aseel Nama, who grew up in the Arab town of Deir...

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.