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Friday, July 27, 2012

Iranian judoka withdraws from competition against Israeli

The Iranian who is most likely to face an Israeli in the Olympics has withdrawn due to a 'gut infection.'
Iranian Javad Mahjoub qualified in the same half-heavyweight judo category as an Israeli, Ariel Ze’evi, who participated in the last three Olympics, won the bronze medal in Athens 2004, and is the 2012 European champion. The half-heavyweight category competition is scheduled for August 2.

But Iranian Sports Medicine Federation head Lotfali Pour-Kazemi said this week Mahjoub’s condition required a 10-day antibiotic course and he would not be able to compete. An Iranian judo website quoted him as saying the judoka was experiencing “weakness, nausea and vomiting.”

Mahjoub’s name still appeared Thursday on the Iranian national Olympic committee (NOC) list of 54 competitors at the London games.

During the Judo World Cup in Tashkent in 2011, Mahjoub was lined up in a head-to-head against another Israeli, Or Sasson, but refused to compete.

For his part, Ze’evi has been on the receiving end of an anti-Israel boycott before, when a Tunisian withdrew rather than taken him on during world judo championships in 2001. Ze’evi won silver.

Iranians withdrew from events pitting them against Israelis in the last two Olympic Games, in Athens 2004 (judo) and Beijing 2008 (swimming).

The Olympic Charter states, “Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.”

“We have just told all the national Olympic committees that we expect all the athletes to respect the schedule of competition and not to pull out without a good reason for competition against an athlete of another country,” Rogge told the London Guardian last month.

“If nation A does not appear at the competition against nation B we will ask for explanations,” he said. “If the explanation is not satisfactory and valid at the end of it and is not credible then we will go into cross-examination by an independent medical board. And if the medical board says it is not a genuine reason then sanctions will be taken. That is quite clear.”
There's another Iranian who may yet withdraw from competition rather than compete against an Israeli. Read the whole thing.

Here's betting Iran won't be sanctioned. After all, they're only refusing to compete against the Jooooz.

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