13 January 2020

Iran's only female Olympic medallist says she had defected as she did not want to be a part of the country's 'hypocrisy and lies'

Iran's only female Olmypic medallist says she has defected from her country because she did not want to be a part of the 'hypocrisy, lies and injustice'.

Kimia Alizadeh competes in taekwondo and made history for the country at the Rio 2016 Games as she won a bronze - becoming the only female from the country to medal at an Olympics.

On social media she said that officials in Iran used her success as propaganda. Her defection comes amid protests in the country after Iran claimed responsibility for shooting down a commercial passenger plane.

The 21-year-old said: "I am one of the millions of oppressed women in Iran whom they've been playing for years. I wore whatever they told me and repeated whatever they ordered. Every sentence they ordered I repeated. None of us matter for them, we are just tools."

An Iranian politician Abdolkarim Hosseinzadeh accused 'incompetent officials' of allowing 'human capital to flee' when news broke of Alizadeh's disappearance last week.

She has denied being invited to Europe and has not confirmed which country she has gone to.

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