Regional politics intruded into sports once again this weekend when Iranian referee Ahmad Ksanfandi refused to officiate Israeli judoka Gal Yekutiel's second round fight on Saturday at the Tbilisi Open in Georgia. Ksanfandi, who is an Olympic-class referee, was thrown out of the competition after Israeli referee Ran Yedger, who officiated matches involving Iranian judokas during the competition, filed an official complaint with the judging committee. Yekutial eventually won his second round fight against an Armenian opponent, but was forced to retire in the semifinals after injuring his foot and finished the competition in fifth position.

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