26th July 2021

IOC criticised for praising member of Iranian armed forces for shooting Gold

Foroughi gave a military salute on the Tokyo 2020 podium…

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been criticised for praising Javad Foroughi (جواد فروغی), a former member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), for winning a Gold medal in the Air Pistol at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Foroughi’s Wikipedia profile confirms that he served with the IRGC during the Syrian Civil War, but claims that he was a medic. He received congratulations from General Jamshid Fouladi (جمشید فولادی), Head of the Sports and Physical Fitness Department of the Iranian Armed Forces, in pro-Iranian newspaper Javan, where he was pictured giving a military salute on the Olympic podium (see right). It is understood that his coach, Mohsen Nasrasfahan (محسن نصراصفهانی), is also a member of the Iranian armed forces.

The IRGC is recognised as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation by the US Bureau of Counterterrorism, but is not specifically recognised as a terrorist organisation by the UK. ‘Javad Foroughi’s Gold Medal is not only an unhappy situation for us, but may also be a tragedy for the military and government politicians in Iranian sports bodies’, read a tweet (below) from United For Navid, a pressure group set up following the execution of Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari due to allegations that he was involved in the death of a security guard during protests in 2018 – an accusation that drew questions from the United Nations. ‘He [Foroughi] was an active member of the Quds Force of Iran and trained in shooting for these competitions in Syria for two years, using human and moving targets!’

The IOC’s praise for Foroughi is likely to draw accusations of double standards, after the International Judo Federation (IJF) provisionally suspended an Algerian judoka and his coach for withdrawing from the Games rather than facing an Israeli opponent. ‘Following the draw of the judo competition at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Fethi Nourine (-73kg) and his coach Amar Benikhlef gave individual statements to media announcing their withdrawal from the competition to avoid meeting an Israeli athlete during the event’, read an IJF statement. ‘According to the IJF rules, in line with the Olympic Charter and especially with rule 50.2 that provides for the protection of the neutrality of sport at the Olympic Games and the neutrality of the Games themselves, which states that “no kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas,” Fethi Nourine and Amar Benikhlef are now suspended and will face a decision by the IJF Disciplinary Commission, as well as disciplinary sanctions by the National Olympic Committee of Algeria back in their country’.

You may also like...

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This