Citing Trump's Immigration Policy, Iran Bars U.S. Wrestlers from Freestyle World Cup

The Men's Freestyle World Cup is scheduled to take place February 16-17 in Kermanshah, Iran. Thanks to Donald Trump's recent policy announcements, U.S. wrestlers won't be welcome.

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Feb 3 2017, 4:52pm

According to a report published on Friday morning by the Islamic Republic News Agency, Iran will bar American wrestlers from competing in the Men's Freestyle World Cup, scheduled to take place February 16-17 in Kermanshah, Iran.

"Due to the new U.S. President Donald Trump's policies, the Foreign Ministry was obliged inevitably to oppose the U.S. wrestling team's travel to Iran," the statement reads in part.

The news comes as a blow to the U.S. wrestling team, which has a long history of competing against Iran. The Iranians have dominated the freestyle category in recent years, winning gold in the last five World Cups – three of which took place in the United States. The Americans last won the competition in 2003.

Questions remain as to how the Trump administration will handle international competitions taking place in the United States. The U.S. Olympic Committee issued a statement on Monday confirming that it had been in touch with government officials, and that "the U.S. government has today advised us that it will work with us to ensure that athletes and officials from all countries will have expedited access to the United States in order to participate in international athletic competitions."

How an athletic exemption to the travel ban will work out remains to be seen.

[H/T New York Times]