Iran’s only female Olympic medallist has revealed she is moving to Germany because she has had enough of being used as a propaganda ‘tool’ by her home country.
Kimia Alizadeh, 21, from Karaj, has been training in the southern Dutch city of Eindhoven, after leaving Iran several weeks earlier.
Alizadeh wished to continue her career in Germany and has since moved to Hamburg after having also received offers to compete for the Netherlands, Canada, Belgium and Bulgaria, according to German newspaper Bild.
The Taekwondo athlete, wrote on Instagram this month that she was prepared to accept the ‘hardship of homesickness’ because she ‘didn’t want to be part of hypocrisy, lies, injustice and flattery’.
Alizadeh, who won bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympics, said: ‘I wore whatever they told me and repeated whatever they ordered.
‘Every sentence they ordered I repeated,’ she wrote. ‘None of us matter for them, we are just tools.’
Dutch national Taekwondo coach Mimoun el Boujjoufi said: ‘Kimia has decided to continue in Germany.’
‘After the explosion [of interest] many fought for her attention,’ Mr El Boujjoufi said.
Mahin Farhadizadeh, a deputy Iranian sports minister, said at the time he had not read Alizadeh’s post, adding ‘as far as I know she always wanted to continue her studies in physiotherapy’, Iranian Students News Agency reported.
Alizadeh is one of several Iranian sportspeople to clash with the Iran authorities of late.
Iranian chess referee, Shohreh Bayat, who has been accused of violating her country’s Islamic dress code while adjudicating a women’s tournament, said last week she did not want to return home from Russia out of fear for her safety.
Earlier this month, Iranian chess grandmaster, Mitra Hejaziour, was expelled from the national team for not wearing the hijab at the World Rapid and Blitz Championship in Moscow.