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A second judoka due to face Tohar Butbul has dropped out of the Tokyo Olympics. Sudan’s Mohamed Abdalrasool weighed in for his match against Butbul, who is from Israel, but did not show up for the bout, according to The Guardian.
Both the International Judo Foundation and Sudanese Olympic officials did not provide a reason for why Abdalrasool missed the match. It's the second time a potential opponent of Butbul's has dropped out of the event.
Abdalrasool was supposed to face Algerian Fethi Nourine in an earlier round, but Nourine pulled due to the winner of that fight having to take on Butbul in the round of 16. Nourine said he didn't want to compete against Butbul due to Nourine's political support of Palestine. Nourine is not the first athlete to refuse to compete against Israeli opponents.
Both Nourine and his coach, Amar Benikhlef, were temporarily suspended by the International Judo Foundation. The IJF cited its "strict non-discrimination policy, promoting solidarity as a key principle, reinforced by the values of judo," as the reason for the suspension.
It's unclear whether Abdalrasool or his coach will face disciplinary action for the IJF after not showing up for the bout.
Tohar Butbul advances to round of 16 due to dropouts
Butbul — who is ranked seventh in his weight class — had a first-round bye at the start of the tournament. With Abdalrasool dropping out, Butbul will advance to the round of 16 despite not taking on a single opponent.
Butbul is matched up against Victor Sterpu of the Republic of Moldova in the round of 16. Sterpu defeated Cuba's Magdiel Estrada in the round of 32.
It's unclear whether Butbul will finally get an opportunity to fight, or if Sterpu will follow Nourine and Abdalrasool and drop out of the event.
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