Ali Moradi, the president of Iranian Weightlifting Federation, slammed the unfair judgment passed by the jury against Iran’s Behdad Salimi at Rio Olympics, and stressed that it will remain in history forever.
According to a report by IRNA, as translated by IFP, Moradi said the jury’s injustice against Behdad will remain in history forever.
“Behdad lifted 245 kilograms and despite getting three white lights from the judges, the jury did not accept the result,” Moradi said, concluding that “all this attest to the fact that they did not want Iran to win gold.”
According to Moradi, although Iranian coaching team severely protested their contentious move, Tamás Aján, the President of the International Weightlifting Federation, said there is nothing they can do.
“It is unfortunate that their behaviour has tarnished the spirit of Olympics and dragged the essence of sports under a big question mark,” Moradi regretted.
He described the presence of special police forces in the competition venues as an inappropriate measure for maintaining security.
Security forces were called to the Olympic weightlifting arena on Tuesday after Iranian coaches reacted furiously when Talakhadze beat Salimi with a world record tally in the men’s super-heavyweights.
Salimi had set a new world record of 216kg in the snatch to lead Georgian lifter Lasha Talakhadze by 1kg going into the clean and jerk.
Judges ruled that the 26-year-old super heavyweight’s first jerk was a no lift. The jury then dramatically over-ruled the judges’ decision that his second lift had been legitimate.
Salimi thought he had successfully raised 245kg above his head but the panel of referees on the jury ruled that his left arm had not been straight, AFP wrote.
“Why should they take this from us so easily?” Salimi told reporters, as reported by Tasnim.
“There’s a malfunction in the system, people saw what happened,” he added.
“Tamás Aján told me ‘you did well’ but I don’t know why the judges’ decisions went against me,” Salimi said.
“There’s a conspiracy. Our enemies were on the jury,” an irate Iranian coach Sajjad Anoushiravani told reporters, appearing to be referring to a judge from Iraq.
“It’s obvious they took the medal from Salimi. The jury was selected for this to happen. He is a gold medallist from London. He broke the world record here. They may as well throw the whole thing in the trash,” said Anoushiravani.
“It was getting ugly and we asked the competition manager to call security because of the behaviour by the Iranian officials,” said Sam Coffa, chairman of the International Weightlifting Federation’s technical committee.
“It was an unfortunate end to the Games,” said Coffa.
Iranian supporters in the crowd of more than 5,000 booed the Georgian, the final weightlifting gold medallist of the Rio Games.