Israeli judoka Tohar Butbul won a bronze medal after his Iranian opponent intentionally gained weight to avoid competing with him.

By: and United with Israel Staff

Israeli judoka Tohar Butbul won Israel’s second bronze medal at Germany’s Dusseldorf Grand Slam competition on Saturday after his Iranian opponent intentionally gained weight to avoid competing with him.

Iranian judoka Mohammad Mahdi Brimanloo was forced to withdraw after suddenly gaining weight that placed him outside the under-73 kilogram category.

Baruch Shmailov won Israel’s first bronze medal in the under-66 kilogram competition on Friday.

As a result of the Iranian’s disqualification, Butbul automatically advanced to the final 16, going on to win the bronze medal.

A little more than a week ago, the United World Wrestling organization banned Iranian athlete Alireza Karimi from competition for six months for intentionally losing to a Russian competitor in the quarter final of the U-23 World Championship in Poland last November, so as not to have to compete against Israeli opponent Uri Kalashnikov.

Karimi’s coach, Hamidreza Jamshidi, was banned for two years.

“Both wrestler and coach were found to have acted in direct violation of the International Wrestling Rules and the UWW Disciplinary Regulations,” the UWW stated.

Iran, which calls for the destruction of the Jewish state, has long refused to engage in sports competitions against Israelis.

Last February, Iranian karate athlete Majid Hassaninia refused to compete against an Israeli opponent at the 21st Open de Paris – Karate Premier League in France.

For years, Israeli athletes have faced boycotts, snubs and logistical hurdles in sporting events involving Arab and Muslim countries.

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