Iran Judo Federation calls suspension 'unfair' after being banned for ordering fighter to withdraw

    Saeid Mollaei following his loss against Belgium's Matthias Casse during the semifinal of the men's under 81kg category at the 2019 Judo World Championships.

    (CNN)The Iran Judo Federation called it's suspension from international competition "unfair" after it was banned from all competitions for trying to make judoka Saeid Mollaei withdraw from the World Judo Championships.

    Iran's Mollaei says his coach received two calls from Iranian authorities ordering his fighter to pull out of the Tokyo tournament to avoid the possibility of meeting Israeli judoka Sagi Muki in the final.
    The 27-year-old ignored those warnings and after losing in the semifinals of the competition -- a result he says was affected by the emotional stress caused by the Iran officials request -- travelled to Germany to begin the process of applying for asylum.
      Mollaei said he feared for his safety and that of his family back home, but Salehi Amiri, the president of Iran's Olympic Committee, said the fighter and his family "will not and have not faced any threats or danger."
      But according to the head of Iran's judo federation Arash Miresmaeili, this suspension was pre-meditated.
      "I believe that suspending Iran's judo was a pre-planned scenario and unfortunately one of our athletes got involved and intensified the problem," Miresmaeili told news agency IRNA Wednesday.
      Miresmaeili also added that Iran will "diplomatically follow up" on the issue and hopes to win this "unequal war".
      According to the International Judo Federation (IJF), Iranian judo's governing body was in breach of multiple codes, including the Olympic Charter.
      Iranian athletes have for a long time been prohibited from competing in any sport against Israel.