Amir Yazdani Forced Out Of Match With Israel’s Joshua Finesilver

Amir Yazdani, brother of Olympic gold medalist Hassan Yazdani, has pulled out of his match with Joshua Finesilver. Yazdani reportedly weighed in over over half a pound over the 70 kilogram weight limit.

Iran has had a long standing policy of not allowing their athletes to compete against Israeli athletes and has gotten them in trouble with the athletic federations in the past.

Amir Yazdani entered the Belgrade World Champions hopeful to have some success. Upon getting his assignment in the random draw and finding our Israel’s Finesilver was to be his opponent, questions began about if Yazdani would actually compete or find his way out of the match. Iranian World Champion Sardar Pashaei spoke to the questions on his Twitter yesterday questioning just that.

While it’s not official and Iran is possibly doing this to avoid punishment by the IOC, state media Press TV said it was purposefully done so Yazdani to avoid facing an Israeli opponent.

Later, Press TV issued a retraction and stated that Amir Yazdani was pulled out due to missing weight.

Amir Yazdani, Iran, and Israel

The news about Amir Yazdani is just the latest in a litany of anti-sport actions the Iran regime has taken. Most notably, Saeid Mollaei was commanded by the Iranian Sports Minister to purposely lose the match against Israel’s Sagi Muki. The IOC was pressured into action and Iran’s Judo team received a four year ban from international competition.

Iran refuses to allow athletes to compete against Israeli athletes out of protest of the country of Israel being recognized internationally as a country.

Iran, however, has been terrible to their athletes for decades. A couple years ago, Navid Afkari was executed for crimes confessed to under torture. Majid Jamali Fashi was possibly a scapegoat for the assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist. Other athletes executed were Mehdi Ali Hosseini, Ali Mutairi, and Afkari whistleblower Shahin Naseri.

In addition to the executions, Iran has held other athletes hostage and tortured them as well. Reza Tabrizi was jailed for questioning why mosques were open during the COVID-19 pandemic and not gyms. Khaled Pirzadeh stitched his lips shut in protest for conditions the prison put prisoners through.

Other athletes like Mollaei and taekwondo competitor Kimia Alizadeh have fled the country and competed under other countries banners.

If you want to read more on the Iran mistreatment of fighters, check out my coverage below:

Blaine Henry

Just your friendly neighborhood fight fan!

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