Turkish wrestling world champion Kayaalp banned for racism
Sunday, 11 August 2013
August 11 - Turkish wrestler Rıza Kayaalp, world and European champion in the 120kg category, has been hit with a six-month suspension after making racist comments on Twitter.
The International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) handed the London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist, who was his nation's flag bearer at the Opening Ceremony for the 2013 Mediterranean Games in Mersin, the ban for allegedly blaming Armenians and Greeks for the anti-Government protests in Turkey earlier this year.
"These are the Armenian and Greek dogs," Kayaalp is alleged to have written of Twitter, as well as "You just leave the streets to Armenians, you f**ing looters" and "F**k you traitors".
None of the tweets can be found today.
"He was given an immediate suspension of six months by the FILA judge and he has the right to appeal," FILA President Nenad Lalovic said.
"I do not know the exact details as I do not interfere in such activities.
"We have a prosecutor and a judge.
"The prosecutor informs the judge about what happens in such incidents.
"I know this person, he is a young boy and a very good wrestler.
"I am shocked that he has done this, but it may have been an emotional moment for him, I am not sure that he really thinks that way.
"But I am not here to judge, just to secure all the democratic procedures, the eventual punishment and so on.
"The investigation goes on, there will probably be a hearing, an appeal maybe."