Algeria’s Fethi Nourine has been suspended for 10 years from the International Judo Federation (IJF) for refusing to face an Israeli competitor at Tokyo Olympics.
‘The Algerian Judoka with malicious intent have used the Olympic Games as a platform for protest and promotion of political and religious propaganda,” the International Judo Federation said in a statement.
‘I reject normalisation, ” said Nourine, who was set to compete in the men’s under 73kg judo competition.
“We have worked hard to qualify for the Games, but the Palestinian cause is bigger than all that,” he told local Algerian media.
The IJF accused the Algerian Athlete of using the international sporting event as a “platform for propaganda”, and of doing so “with malicious intent”.
“For the IJF disciplinary commission, it is evident that the two Algerian Judoka with malicious intent have used the Olympic Games as a platform for protest and promotion of political and religious propaganda, which is a clear and very serious breach of the IJF statutes, the IJF code of ethics and the Olympic Charter,” the IJF added.
“On these grounds, the IJF disciplinary commission pronounces against Nourine and Benikhlef ten (10) years suspension each from all events and activities organised or authorised by the International Judo Federation and its unions, started from 23 July 2021 until 23 July 2031.”
The decision “has immediate effect” and is subject to appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the statement added.
Nourine withdrew from the competition just one day before the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony.