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Sunday, August 10, 2008

The mysterious Iranian sports illness

It is really intriguing that there are so many sheer coincidences that stop Iranian athletes from competing with Israelis.

In 2004, Iranian judoka Arash Miresmaeli strangely missed his weight and thus didn't get to compete against an Israeli.

The International Judo Federation investigated and concluded that he didn’t miss his weight to avoid the bout.

Even so, in the spirit of fair play, Iranian president Ahmadinejad rewarded Miresmaeili with the same $125,000 that Iranian gold medal winners received.

And in this Olympics, Iranian swimmer Mohammad Alirezaei mysteriously developed "stomach cramps" a half hour before his meet, where, coincidentally, an Israeli was going to compete. From IRNA:
Iranian swimmer Mohammad Alirezaei has pulled out of the Olympic men's 100m breaststroke heats due to severe pain in his stomach, an official with the Iranian team said on Saturday.

The head of Iran's Swimming Federation, Vahid Moradi, told IRNA that Alirezaei failed to attend the competition as he felt a severe pain in his stomach and nauseous 30 minutes before the contest.

The physicians accompanying Iranian swimming team have diagnosed Alirezaei with appendicitis or herina rupture and said he should immediately be taken to hospital, Moradi said.

He added that Alirezaei's coach has informed the Olympic Games Committee of his sickness prior to transferring him to hospital.

The IOC says it will investigate, but as long as there is no proof that he didn't get sick, there will be no sanctions.

And Alirezaei stands to profit mightily from his "illness".