PtG Article 17.08.2010

IOC: Iranian athlete’s withdrawal was not political

Speculations that politics were the real reason behind an Iranian taekwondo finalist’s withdrawal from a YOG final are now being dismissed by the IOC.

Iranian taekwondo fighter Mohammad Soleimani withdrew from the 48kg boys' taekwondo final against Israeli Gili Haimovitz at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore on Sunday.

Israeli officials claimed that the Iranian's withdrawal was in fact politically motivated and not caused by the cited injury. Iran refuses to recognise Israel as a country and has a policy not to compete against Israel.

After the allegations, the IOC demanded an examination by an independent doctor who stated that Soleimani was indeed suffering from an ankle injury.

"There is nothing to continue," IOC Director of Communications Mark Adams said according to, "It was an injury." Iran has previously pulled out from competitions against Israeli athletes at sporting events, including the Beijing Olympics in 2008.SOURCE: SUPERSPORT.COM