Arbitration body lifts indefinite suspension of Iran from international judo events

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The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), on Monday, lifted the indefinite suspension imposed on the Iran Judo Federation for pressuring one of their fighters not to face an Israeli athlete.

The International Judo Federation (IJF) sanctioned Iran in October for putting pressure on fighter Saeid Mollaei to withdraw from the world championships to avoid a potential final round against Israeli contender Sagi Muki.

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Mollaei, a 2018 judo world champion, subsequently fled Iran for Germany where he was granted refugee status, and later became a citizen of Mongolia.

Iran appealed the IJF decision to CAS, which has ruled that although Iran committed “severe violations,” the unlimited suspension imposed on the country had no legal basis in the IJF regulations.

“The CAS Panel determined that (Iran) committed severe violations of the IJF rules and that sanctions compliant with the IJF regulations should be imposed on it,” the court said in a statement.

“However, the CAS Panel concluded that the kind of sanction (unlimited suspension) imposed... had no legal basis ... Accordingly, the Panel partially upheld the appeal and annulled the decision taken by the IJF Disciplinary Commission.”

“The matter has been referred back to the IJF Disciplinary Commission for its eventual further decisions.”

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