(ATR) The international federation says it has had enough from a Bahrain athlete who flouts the rules.
Banned in July from attending the Asian Games underway in Jakarta, Ali Monfaredi came anyway. Though credentialed, Monfaredi will not be allowed to compete. He likes to call himself "The Beast from the Middle East".
Joachim Thumfart, Ju Jistu International Federation Sport Director said the problem with Ali Monfaredi has its roots in years-old administration issues pertaining to the Bahrain national federation. Specifically to Monfaredi, Thumfart says a series of "very suspicious" actions led the JJIF to ban Monfaredi from the Asian Games.
The first action came after the federation granted a wild-card qualification spot at the 2017 World Games for Monfaredi, and a referee’s credential for his father. But on the day they arrived in Poland, Monfaredi said he was injured and couldn’t compete. His father didn’t bother to collect his credential, giving no reason for the cancellation.
Monfaredi meanwhile gave martial arts seminars and competed in "numerous professional events all over the world," Thumfart said.
"We cannot accept this. If someone only uses the multi-sports events to promote themselves and participatesall the time in professional events then we need to protect the other athletes."
The decision to bar Monfaredi, Thumfart said, was "fully settled down and fixed in July," with official communiques sent to the Bahraini national federation.
Thumfart could only surmise Monfaredi flew to Jakarta because "they haven’t read the official letters we sent them or they did not take it seriously".
"When we get the feeling that they abuse the federation we must act."
Monfaredi did not respond to requests for comment.
The Bahraini athlete tried to appeal the federation ban to the ad hoc division of the Court for Arbitration of Sport operating in Jakarta for the Asian Games. The court has ruled that it has no jurisdiction, leaving the federation action in place.
The IJJF did grant Bahrain a last minute reprieve for the entire team to compete at the Asian Games, exclusive of Monfaredi. The federation says the governing body for the sport in Bahrain owes back dues and has other organizational issues. The IIJF ban on Bahrain will return after the Asian Games.
Not a good week in Jakarta either for Monfaredi’s brother, Abdulla. He qualified for the Asian Games in the 62-kilogram category, but lost his fight on August 25.
Coverage of the 18th Asian Games is made possible in part by the Olympic Council of Asia
Reported in Jakarta by Ed Hula III.