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Former Coach Claims Iran Overfed Wrestler to Avoid Israeli Opponent

Amir Mohammad Yazdani. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Amir Mohammad Yazdani. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The former head coach of Iran’s national Greco-Roman wrestling team and a prominent British-Iranian analyst slammed the Islamic Republic for using dirty tricks to force its wrestler to boycott his Israeli competitor on Thursday in Belgrade, Serbia.

“Iranian wrestler, Amir Yazdani was due to face an Israeli opponent at Wrestle Belgrade. If he refused Iran wrestling federation would have been banned like Judo. Instead, they overfed him, so he didn’t qualify at the weigh-in. Once again Iran managed to get out of a sticky situation“ wrote Potkin Azarmehr, a British-Iranian critic of the Islamic Republic on Twitter.

Amir Mohammad Yazdani, the 70-kilogram wrestler of the Iranian national freestyle team, was slated to wrestle Israeli Josh Finesilver. Yazdani was considered the favorite to win the weight class at the world championships.

“It is not the head coaches and athletes who make decisions, but the Iranian security officials who give orders and have the final word in this regard. These security officials are present at all sports competitions including during all foreign travel. In sports camps, dormitories, or at international competitions, they repeat the red lines of the regime,“ Sardar Pashaei, the former head of Iran's national Greco-Roman wrestling, told The Jerusalem Post.

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