OCA warns Iran
The OCA is angry with Iranian athletes displaying religious symbols.
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2006 13:50 GMT

Hossein Rezazadeh shows his religious symbols and the effects of a large appetite

The Olympic Council of Asia has warned Iran its athletes face severe sanctions if they continue to adorn their sports clothing with religious slogans.

"We have sent some strong wording to the National Olympic Committee of Iran not to use slogans," said OCA director general Husain al-Musallem.
Musallem warned that athletes could be disqualified, subject to further sanctions and even financial penalties if slogans continued to appear on their sporting apparel.
The most prominent Iranian to adorn his lycra bodysuit with a slogan is double Olympic champion and world record-holding weightlifter Hossein Rezazadeh, who won gold in the men's super-heavyweight competition.
Part of his routine is the kissing of the inscription "Abolfazl", printed across his chest below a flag of Iran.
Abolfazl is a religious reference to the half-brother of  Hussain, the Prophet Mohammed's grandson and third Imam of Shia  Islam killed in the Battle of Karbala in the seventh century.
Rezazadeh has also named his son Abolfazl.
"We have proceeded to notify all Asian Olympic Committees to respect OCA rules regarding religious slogans," Musallem added.
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