Iran swimmer says withdrawal wasn’t political
By ANDREW DAMPF AP Sports Writer
SHANGHAI (AP)—The Iranian swimmer who withdrew from a heat featuring an Israeli at the world championships says the move was not political.
Mohammed Alirezaei tells The Associated Press that he had to wait for a visa and arrived in China a day before the race in question, Sunday’s 100-meter breaststroke heat, which also included Gal Nevo of Israel.
Alirezaei says Tuesday he withdrew because he was “tired and drowsy,” adding that he has “no problem” competing against Israeli athletes.
Alirezaei also pulled out of an event against another Israeli, Tom Beeri, in the 100 breaststroke at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, citing illness.
Nevo says swimming governing body FINA should take action, adding that the withdrawals “embarrass the whole competition.”