The International Judo Association today (Tuesday) suspended for 10 years the Algerian judoka Fathi Nurin, who refused to face the Israeli Tohar Botbol during the Olympic Games in Tokyo and retired. Nurin clarified that he intended to appeal the sentence and responded to the decision when he told the Algerian media: “I am in shock. I did not expect the sentence to be so heavy.“
As you may recall, Nurin sparked political drama after he chose to retire from the Olympics to avoid a meeting with Botbol, which would have happened in the event the Algerian qualified for the second round. “My position on the Palestinian issue is firm. I will not recognize the Israeli flag and I will not get my hands dirty with it,” he told the media in his homeland at the time.
The 30.year.old Norin had a long history with Israeli rivals and even with Botbol himself: in 2019 he did not appear in a battle against the Israeli and gave him a technical victory in the second round of the World Championship. In the same year, he also retired from the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam when he realized that Israeli representatives would come to the competition.
In 2014, Nurin participated in the Croatian Grand Prix – then still weighing up to 66 kg – and managed to advance in the competition. In a gold medal.