The Olympic games have a long history of making nice to brutal and anti-Semitic regimes—from the 1936 Olympics held in Nazi Germany, to the 1980 games in the USSR, to the fact that it took nearly half a century for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to commemorate the murder of Jewish athletes at the 1972 Munich games. Likewise, the IOC has turned a blind eye to the way the Islamic Republic treats its own athletes. Emily Schrader argues that the IOC should ban Iran from competing:
Consider Navid Afkari, the Iranian wrestling champion. Afkari will never get to compete in the Olympics, despite being a world-class athlete, because he was murdered by the Iranian regime for opposing the government.
[Meanwhile, the Islamic Republic] has sent at least one . . . athlete to represent the country who also happens to have been an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps fighter in Syria from 2013 to 2015. Javad Foroughi, whom Iran claims is a nurse who learned to shoot only a few years ago, won the gold medal for men’s ten-meter air-pistol shooting last week. In an interview from earlier this year, he speaks candidly about how he was sent to Syria repeatedly and stationed near Damascus to “stand guard” in the midst of the Syrian civil war.
It’s not as if Iran conducts its business in a sportsmanlike fashion in any case—Iran has been throwing matches to avoid Israelis for years, repeatedly forcing athletes to resign rather than face Israeli athletes. In one of the most famous cases, the Iranian wrestler Saeed Mollaei threw a match in judo to avoid facing an Israeli, only to defect later and compete for another country after fleeing to Berlin.
It is well known and documented . . . that the state of Iran violates every principle the Olympic games [claim to] represent. . . . The IOC must ban Iran from the Olympic games.