International Olympics Committee Warns Iran To Respect Charter
The International Olympic Committee has relayed its serious concerns to the Iranian Olympics committee regarding the safety of athletes and discrimination in sports.
In a press release issued February 2, the IOC said a meeting was held with the head of Iran’s national Olympics committee where “intensive discussions took place,” and questions asked about the Iranian NOC protecting athletes and ensuring there is no discrimination “vis-à-vis any other athletes.”
The issue of discrimination refers to the Islamic Republic government forbidding athletes to compete against their Israeli peers, often by feigning sickness or injury and throwing games.
Many Iranian athletes were arrested during recent antigovernment protests and face serious charges, often brought by security and intelligence outfits without a fair chance of defense.
The IOC also raised the issue of government rules for athletes to provide financial guarantees when they are sent to compete abroad. More than 30 Iranian athletes have defected in the past four years and the government wants to penalize those who might choose to stay abroad.
“The IOC President stressed the importance of non-discrimination in every aspect and insisted on the full observance of the Olympic Charter by the NOC,” the international committee said in its release.
The Iranian side “made clear commitments to abide by the rules and the Olympic Charter, IOC said. However, sports is under the direct control of the government, and in many instances, the Revolutionary Guard and the Iranian Olympics committee would be hardly able to deliver its promises.