In this Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018 file photo, Saeid Mollaei of Iran, top, competes against Didar Khamza of Kazakhstan during their men's - 81kg final judo match at the18th Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia. (AP/ Tatan Syuflana, File) AP/ Tatan Syuflana, File
In this Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018 file photo, Saeid Mollaei of Iran, top, competes against Didar Khamza of Kazakhstan during their men's - 81kg final judo match at the18th Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.

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The Iranian judo star had exposed the Tehran regime’s pressure on him to lose a bout at the World Championships in Tokyo to avoid competing against an Israeli.

By United With Israel Staff 

An Iranian judoka will reportedly be arriving in Israel next month to compete in the Tel Aviv Grand Prix, according to a report on Israeli Army Radio.

The judoka was identified in the report as Saeid Mollaei, who had recently received Mongolian citizenship.

The Iranian judo star had exposed and criticized the Tehran regime’s pressure on him to deliberately lose a bout in late August at the World Championships in Tokyo to avoid having to face off against an Israeli opponent.

He had been 2018 world champion in his weight class and the world number one until the World Championships in August 2019, according to the International Judo Federation (IJF), which announced on Monday that Mollaei would “now compete under the colors of Mongolia.”

Iran media had charged that the head of the IJF conspired with Israel to lure Mollaei away from their country.

The Iranian-born athlete recently met with the President of the Republic of Mongolia Khaltmaagiin Battulga, says the federation, which posted a photo of the meeting on its website.

“On the occasion of this meeting, the president handed him the official papers symbolizing and confirming his new Mongolian citizenship,” said the IJF.

“Even before coming to Israel, Mollaei will possibly face Israeli judoka Sagi Muki at the Qingdao Masters in China next week, reports The Jerusalem Post. It was Muki who Mollaei avoided at the World Championships.

“Another Iranian judoka, Mohammad Rashnonezhad, who is currently considered a refugee and seeking asylum in the Netherlands will be competing in Tel Aviv as part of the IJF refugee team,” says The Post.

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