Iran judo athlete skips Olympics, avoiding possible competition with Israeli

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Contrary to comments from Iran’s top Olympics official earlier this week, it looks like no Iranian and Israeli Olympians will be competing against each other in London after all.

Iranian judo champion Javad Mahjoub has cancelled his London trip, Iranian media reported July 22, citing treatment for a “critical digestive infection.”

“Mahjoub must use antibiotics during 10 days and he cannot compete in the Olympics,” Lotfali Pour-Kazemi, the head of Iran’s Sports Medicine Federation, said Sunday, according to Tehran Times.

If he’d gone to London, Mahjoub faced the prospect of competing against Israeli judo champ Ariel Ze’evi, who won a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics.

“Mahjoob has said he’s thrown matches in the past to avoid fighting an Israeli,” Yahoo’s Eurosport/London Spy reports.  “His theory: It’s better to lose on purpose rather than withdraw from a fight against an Israeli, an act which could bring a four-year suspension.”

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