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Iran will not go to US for Wrestling bout if fingerprinted

Qeshm, Hormuzgan prov, Feb 18, IRNA -- Head of Iran Wrestling Federation Mohammad Reza Taleqani said here Monday that if the US government insists on fingerprinting the Iranian Free style National Team upon their arrival in the US, "then the team will not be sent to take part in 2003 World Free-style Wrestling Championship."

He told IRNA that Iran Wrestling Federation, in a letter, called on the International Wrestling Federation (FILA) to expedite a response in order to clarify the situation of the Iranian team.

"The response will be announced in the next two days," Taleqani added.

"If we are given the due respect then we have no qualms in sending the wrestling team to international tournaments," Taleqani said.

The team has been approved to be dispatched for 2003 World Free- Style Wrestling Championships in the US and "we have made it clear that Iran will not participate if athletes are to be fingerprinted."

Taleqani had said in January that the federation has decided to send Iranian freestyle wrestlers to the wrestling world cup in Boise, Idaho in April and the world championships at New York's Madison Square Garden in September 2003.

The International Wrestling Federation (FILA) has set the 2003 championships contests as precondition for attending in Olympic Games in 2004.

Meanwhile, the world champion in 2002, Iran took the bronze medal of the Asian freestyle wrestling tournament ended in Pusan, South Korea, in October.

With one gold, two silvers, and two bronzes, the Iranian wrestling team finished third while the host team of South Korea stole the coveted gold, winning three gold and one silver medals.

Collecting two golds and one silver, Uzbekistan finished runner-up.

... Payvand News - 2/18/03 ... --

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