Fethi Nourine: an Algerian judoka sentenced to 10 years in suspension for withdrawing from the Olympics to avoid Israel

The 30-year-old was scheduled to face Sudanese Mohamed Abdalrasool for his first fight in the 73kg category and a victory would have paired him with Israeli Tohar Butbul in the next round.
Nourine said her political support for the Palestinian cause prevented her from competing with Butbul.

The Algerian Olympic Committee withdrew the accreditation of Nourine and her trainer Amar Benikhlef and sent them home after the Tokyo Games.

The IJF, which had temporarily suspended Nourine and Benikhlef, said the couple used the Games “as a platform to protest and promote political and religious propaganda”, in violation of its code of ethics and Olympic Charter.

They are banned from all IFJ events and activities until July 23, 2031, although they can appeal their bans to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the statement said.

The incident was not the first time that Nourine has withdrawn from the competition to avoid facing an Israeli opponent. He withdrew from the 2019 World Championships in Tokyo for the same reason.

Tensions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have erupted again this year as clashes in disputed Jerusalem sparked cross-border clashes.

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