Israel's Universiade judo champion Alice Schlesinger could be set to compete for Great Britain in future international competitions after making a request to switch allegiances.
The 26-year-old two-time Olympian fell out with the Israel Judo Association (IJA) following London 2012, claiming that Moshe Ponte, chairman of the association, had threatened to torpedo her efforts to reach the Rio Olympics in 2016.
According to Schlesinger, the a bronze medallist at the 2009 World Championships in Rotterdam, the conflict was centred on her refusal to switch from the 63 kilogram category to the heavier 70kg, apparently paving way for up-and-coming star Yarden Gerbi, who also competes at under 63kg.
"When he understood that I wasn't budging on the weight issue, he demanded that I train under Shani Hershko, my rival's trainer," Schleinger, who won her Universiade title at Kazan in 2013, has claimed.
"For me, that was a red line."
Schlesinger, who has also won three bronze medals at the European Championships, is currently trained by boyfriend Pavel Musin.
After a two-year struggle, the world and European bronze medallist has finally found a new home and a brighter future for her otherwise crumbling judo career.
With a British passport in hand, courtesy of her English-born mother, Schlesinger competed in last weekend's British Championships at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.
Despite almost two years without taking part in a major event, Schlesinger won the gold medal in the under 63 kilogram contest, beating debutant Amy Livesey in the final.
"I was nervous in my first fights, returning to the judo mat after two years," said Schlesinger, who has been competing in sambo since her fall out with the IJA, winning gold medals at the 2013 and 2014 World Championships in the under 63kg category, as well as European and Universiade titles in the sport.
"I eventually felt more comfortable.
"I thought to myself that this is where I belong and overcame the pressure.
"This is a different country and it is different."
"Israel is in my heart and I'm happy."
All that is left for the 26-year-old is the stamp of approval by the International Judo Federation which would pave the way for her to potentially compete for Great Britain at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, should she be selected by the British Judo Association (BJA) when they make their selection at the beginning of next year.
"Alice has a British Passport and has been released from the Israeli Federation with a view to represent GB," the BJA told insidethegames.
"We have sent the necessary paper work to the IJF (International Judo Federation) for authorisation.
"All the prerequisite paper work is in place and we are waiting for IJF endorsement.
"To enter the British Championships competitors must fulfil the eligibility criteria, possessing a British passport or birth certificate.
"If a competitor wishes to compete for Great Britain but has previously fought for another nation any change will need to be verified by the IJF before they are eligible to compete for Great Britain."
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