Saudi athlete accused of dodging Israel match


A Saudi-Arabian Olympian been condemned after allegedly pulling out of a match in order to avoid facing an Israeli athlete.

Joud Fahmy, a female Saudi-Arabian Judoka, forfeited her first-round match on Sunday against her Mauritian opponent, Christianne Legentil. The Saudi Olympic team claimed that Ms Fahmy injured herself in training and could not compete, but Israeli media claimed that she was not injured, and had been seeking to avoid facing Israeli Gili Cohen.

This is not the first time in recent months that an athlete from an Arab country has refused to take part in a sporting activity with an Israeli.

Back in June, Ala Ghasoun, a Syrian boxer, refused to fight an Israeli at an Olympic boxing qualifier, with the Jerusalem Post reporting that he had said: "I quit the competition because my rival was Israeli, and I cannot shake his hand or compete against him while he represents a Zionist regime that kills the Syrian people.”

Mr Ghasoun did not appear to make any comment on the fact that he was competing as a representative of the Assad regime, which has been responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Syrian people in the last five years alone.

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