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World number one Scvortov sent home from Asian Games for breaking residency rules
22 Sep 2014 13:50
Judo officials from the United Arab Emirates have expressed shock after their three-man squad here at the Asian Games, including World Championship medallist Victor Scvortov, were all sent home after failing to meet a three-year residency rule.The squad, also consisting of half-middleweight Mihail Marchitan and half-heavyweight Ivan Remarenco, all started competing for the UAE last year having switched from Moldova and received UAE passports in 2012.
The switch has proved a success for both the UAE and the judokas.
Lightweight Scvortov recently won International Judo Federation Grand Prix titles in Abu Dhabi and Budapest, as well as a World Championship bronze medal last month in Chelyabinsk, to climb to the top of the sport's rankings and was considered the favourite for gold here.
But, under the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) rules, the same ones as those used by the International Olympic Committee, athletes must complete a three-year residency period before competing for a new country.
It means the trio will not be allowed to compete in OCA-sanctioned events until 2015.
The team were told of the decision in an official letter from the OCA shortly before the Opening Ceremony on Friday (September 19), it has emerged, just one day before the judo competition began.
Naser Al Tamemi, secretary general of the UAE Wrestling, Judo and Kick Boxing Federation, was "shocked" with the decision, because he claimed they had already received official approval for their participation. "The OCA should have told us before the draw was made, not after," he said.
"It's shocking for us because they had prepared well to take part in the Games."
It the latest example of a tightening on rules about the switching of nationality in recent case, after a huge number of cases across many different sports.
Judo is also not a sport where there have been too many cases of nationality switches.
Kosovo's double world champion Kosovo's Majlinda Kelmendi did compete for Albania at London 2012, but only because she could not compete under the Kosovo flag as the Balkan Republic is not recognised by the IOC.
Previously Kim Jae- Bum became champion against Elias Nacif who was athlete for Brazil at the World Championships of 2013.
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