A week ago we posted about Iranian Wrestlers that refused to compete against Israel.
This past Friday in Switzerland the Wrestling’s governing body said it was investigating whether an Iranian threw a match to avoid facing an Israeli.
The international federation said several news outlets reported that Karimi was directed by his coaches Saturday to intentionally lose because Israel’s Uri Kalashnikov would have been Karimi’s second-round opponent.
UWW said its legal and ethics committees will review the matter in the coming weeks and make recommendations to the organization’s administrating body.
The wrestler has also acknowledged he was ordered to throw the fight and was very unhappy about it.
“In a moment, my whole world seemed to come to an end,” he said.
Israel and Iran are bitter adversaries and Iranian athletes traditionally refrain from competing against Israelis. Iran’s government usually rewards such behavior.
Karimi told ISNA that he was beating Russian Alikhan Zhabrailov when coaches told him to lose. “I tried hard for months to get the world gold medal,” he said. “Achieving a world medal is the only happiness for any of us.”
Iran’s government paid tribute to Karimi, praising him for his “noble and heroic action” and calling him “a source of pride and praise,” while the country’s wrestling federation called him a “hero” and extolled his “sacrifice.”
According to footage posted online, Karimi looked well ahead in his bout against Russia’s Alikhan Zabrailov, but then let himself be easily beaten.
The Iranian athlete seems to abandon the fight completely and lets himself be dominated after a voice shouts out in Persian: “You must lose, Ali Reza!”
Iranian wrestler Alireza Karimi about to beat Russian, but will have to face Israeli next round. His coach his calling him from the sidelines, telling him to “lose.” Iran forbids its athletes to play Israeli’s. Iranian wrestler gives up. pic.twitter.com/nX9KHaH8Jn
— Thomas Erdbrink (@ThomasErdbrink) November 27, 2017