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Iran banned from world judo until it agrees to face Israel



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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Iran has been banned from international judo competitions for refusing to let its athletes fight Israeli opponents.

The International Judo Federation has imposed an indefinite ban on Iran's team until it promises to end a long-running boycott of Israel.

The IJF's disciplinary commission says the ban will stand "until the Iran Judo Federation gives strong guarantees and prove that they will respect the IJF Statutes and accept that their athletes fight against Israeli athletes."

The ruling comes after 2018 world champion Saeid Mollaei walked off the Iranian team in August, saying he had been ordered to lose matches and withdraw from competitions so as not to face Israelis. He is now in hiding in Germany.

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