IOC: Iranian athlete pulled out of competition due to injury | india | Hindustan Times
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IOC: Iranian athlete pulled out of competition due to injury

india Updated: Aug 17, 2010 21:16 IST

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Tuesday said it had no evidence that the withdrawal of an Iranian athlete from a taekwondo final against his Israeli opponent at the Singapore Youth Olympic Games was politically motivated.

Iranian Mohammad Soleimani pulled out of the boy's 48 kg taekwondo competition before his gold medal fight against Israel's Gili Haimovitz on Sunday, citing injury. Israel officials, however,claimed there was a political motive for the pull-out.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams said an independent doctor had confirmed that Soleimani suffered an ankle injury.

"There is nothing to continue," he added. "It was an injury."

Soleimani withdrew from the competition shortly before the final with Iranian officials saying he aggravated an old injury in his left leg and had to be taken to hospital.

He also failed to attend the medal ceremony to receive his silver medal.

Soleimani's withdrawal sparked a controversy as Israeli officials claimed there was a political motive for the move and said they expected the Iranian not to show up for the final against their athlete.

Iran does not recognise Israel and therefore has a policy of withdrawing its athletes from competing against Israelis.

Iranian athletes have pulled out from competitions against Israeli opponents at previous events, including the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.