Australia denied visa requests by three Iranian gymnasts due to fears that the athletes would request asylum once in the country, according to Radio Farda.
The President of Iran's Gymnastic Federation, Zahra Dargahi Incheh, accused Australia of "politicizing" the visa application process for the athletes.
"Three months ago, we requested visas for three of our gymnasts to compete in the 2020 World Cup Gymnastics Melbourne, but Canberra's embassy in Tehran has refused to do so," said Incheh on Sunday.
The Australian embassy in Tehran told the gymnastic's federation that because of Iran's "economic situation" and the possibility that the gymnasts could seek asylum in Melbourne, the visas were denied.
A stop on the Individual Apparatus World Cup circuit will take place in Melbourne for the entirety of the 2020 Olympic cycle for both Men's and Women's Artistic Gymnastics. Athletes from around the world will compete for two days, with the top eight athletes advancing to the finals on February 22 and 23.
Abdollah Jamei, Saeed Reza Keekha, and Mehdi Ahmad Kohani, the three Iranian gymnasts, had prepared to leave Tehran for the Melbourne World Cup on February 12 hoping to enter the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Multiple Iranian athletes have sought asylum in other countries in recent months, including Iran's only female Olympic medalist Kimia Alizadeh, chess grandmaster Alireza Firouzja, judo world champion and Gold medalist Saeid Mollaei, and a member of Iran's Junior wrestling national side, Navid Zangeneh.
Mollaei sought asylum in Germany in September after being pressured to avoid competing against Israeli judoka Sagi Muki. The International Judo Federation (IJF) suspended Iran from competing in future judo competitions at the time.