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Iranian Coach Overfed Wrestler To Avoid Match Against Israeli Foe

Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

At a glance

  • Amir Yazdani, a 70-kilogram wrestler on Iran’s national freestyle team, is considered the favorite to win his weight class at the world championships.
  • Iranian officials did not want Yazdani to wrestle against Israeli competitor Josh Finesilver, so they overfed Yazdani to the point that he didn’t qualify at the weigh-in.
  • Sardar Pashaei, the former head of Iran’s national Greco-Roman wrestling: “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.”

 

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