For decades, Iran’s athletes have refused to compete against Israelis. No matter the sport, no matter the situation.
In a historic breakthrough, on Saturday the International Judo Federation announced that for Iran’s judo athletes the boycotts would be no more.
Iran’s Olympic committee and its national judo federation, in a letter dated Thursday and made public Saturday, agreed to “fully respect the Olympic Charter and its non-discrimination principle.”
In a statement posted on its website, the IJF said the letter came after talks that followed the “disturbing phenomenon” involving the “sudden ‘injury’ or failure of weigh-in of Iranian athletes,” a “phenomenon which is linked by many observers to the possible obligation of the given athletes to compete against certain countries.”
The IJF, it said, “decided to step up in order to protect the right of athletes to fair competition.”