Lebanese Olympians Shun Israelis in Practice
The Lebanese judo team refused to practice alongside the Israeli team on Friday afternoon, the Times of Israel reported.
A barrier had to be put up between the teams, effectively splitting the gym in half. Olympic organizers ceded to the Lebanese coach’s demands so the Lebanese team would not have to see the Israelis, who had originally been slotted to use the same gym and mats.
This incident comes days after Iran’s judoka Javad Mahjoob was kept home instead of joining his countrymen in the Olympics, citing stomach problems. Suspicions immediately arose that he was avoiding competing against Israeli judo athletes.
Iran has made and retracted various statements over the past months, giving alternate explanations of whether its athletes would or would not compete against Israelis.