The Court Of Arbitration For Sport (CAS) Annuls The Suspension Of The Islamic Republic Of Iran Judo Federation: The Matter Is Referred Back To The International Judo Federation
1st March 2021
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued the Arbitral Award in the appeal arbitration procedures between the Islamic Republic of Iran Judo Federation (I.R.I. JF) and the International Judo Federation (IJF) relating to the decisions issued by the IJF Disciplinary Commission which saw the I.R.I. JF indefinitely suspended from all competitions, administrative and social activities organised or authorised by the IJF following an investigation into allegations that, on the occasion of the 2019 World Championships in Tokyo, the Iranian judoka Saied Mollaei had been instructed by the I.R.I. JF to withdraw from competing in order to avoid a potential contest with an Israeli judoka.
The I.R.I. JF filed its first appeal at the CAS against the decision on temporary protective measures issued by the IJF Disciplinary Commission on 18 September 2019. This appeal was dismissed, considering that the provisional suspension imposed on the I.R.I. JF was no longer in force.
The second appeal filed by the I.R.I. JF was against the decision taken by the IJF Disciplinary Commission on 22 October 2019 in which the suspension from all competitions, administrative and social activities organised or authorised by the IJF was imposed on the I.R.I. JF “until the Iran Judo Federation gives strong guarantees and proves that they will respect the IJF Statutes and accept that their athletes fight against Israeli athletes”
The CAS Panel determined that the I.R.I. JF committed severe violations of the IJF rules and that sanctions compliant with the IJF regulations should be imposed on it. However, the CAS Panel concluded that the kind of sanction (unlimited suspension) imposed in the challenged decision of 22 October 2019 had no legal basis in the IJF regulations. Accordingly, the Panel partially upheld the appeal and annulled the decision taken by the IJF Disciplinary Commission on 22 October 2019. The matter has been referred back to the IJF Disciplinary Commission for its eventual further decisions.