Iran denounces skater for competing in Istanbul without headscarf
Iran on Tuesday denounced a skater after she attended a competition in Turkey without wearing an Islamic headscarf, local media announced, amid protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, two weeks after a climber was also targeted after her performance without a veil.
Niloufar Mardani, a member of Iran's national speed skating team for more than a decade, received an award on Sunday at a race in Istanbul without a head covering and wearing black clothing featuring the word "Iran".
#Niloufar_Mardani, after winning the Istanbul roller speed skating competition. She went on the podium wearing a black dress named Iran and tears in her eyes.#IranRevolution pic.twitter.com/eH2vWfq7oh
#Niloufar_Mardani, after winning the Istanbul roller speed skating competition. She went on the podium wearing a black dress named Iran and tears in her eyes.#IranRevolution pic.twitter.com/eH2vWfq7oh— Sedayeh Mellat (The Voice of the Nation; صدای ملت) (@SedayehMellat) November 6, 2022
Iranian sports ministry said that "Mardani took part in a skating competition in Turkey without authorisation" as quoted by Fars news agency.
In Turkey, "this athlete was not wearing the outfit approved by the ministry and she has not been a member of the national team since last month," the statement added.
The ministry said Mardani had taken part in a "personal" capacity in the Istanbul competition, an event in which the Iranian national team did not participate.
Iranian sportswomen are obliged to compete with headscarves, even while during events held abroad, but as the islamic country has been has been rocked by nearly two months of protests with women publicly burning their headscarves, women in sports are more encouraged to break the nation's strict dress code.
In October, Iran's Elnaz Rekabi also took part in a climbing competition in Seoul wearing only a bandana on her head, causing a sensation.
On her return to Iran she apologized and said the hijab had fallen off by accident. But others suggested her gesture was deliberate.