USA Weightlifting has confirmed that an Iranian athlete has been denied a visa to attend the 2017 International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Championships, which are scheduled to take place in Anaheim from November 28 to December 6.
It comes after reports from Iran’s Fars News Agency that four members of the country’s delegation that had hoped to travel to the American city had had applications turned down by the United States Embassy in Dubai having travelled to the United Arab Emirates for the necessary interviews.
Phil Andrews, the chief executive of USA Weightlifting, told insidethegames that the athlete, whose name the national governing body are not prepared to share, was denied under rule 214b and that the remainder were successful.
"This rule states the applicant must prove they intend to return to their home nation after the Championship," he said.
"In consulting the state department yesterday, the athlete did not provide sufficient evidence in the same way as his fellow team members.
"The other denials were delegates and a therapist.
"These persons did not have the support letter from the Organising Committee.
"They asked for them overnight."
Andrews added, however, that the Iran Weightlifting Federation has already re-applied for the unnamed athlete’s visa as directed.
"We are confident the one remaining athlete will successfully receive the visa provided he is careful to adhere to the requirements of rule 214b," he said.
Fars News Agency reported that athletes Saleh Cheraghi and Ayyub Mousavi, who compete in the 85 and 94 kilograms categories respectively, were among the quartet to have had applications turned down.
Andrews told insidethegames that neither of the athletes appeared on Iran's preliminary list of entries, nor had visa support invitation letters from the Organising Committee.
Fars News Agency also stated that Ehsan Sharif Ahmadi, a national team masseur, was part of the foursome along with the Iran Weightlifting Federation's director of public relations.
Last month, it was announced that citizens of eight countries, including Iran, will face new restrictions on entry to the US under a proclamation signed by President Donald Trump that replaced his expiring travel ban.
The new rules, which will also affect the citizens of Chad, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen, will go into effect on October 18.
The announcement of the new travel ban came as a 90-day ban on people from six mainly Muslim nations was set to expire.
USA Weightlifting said in March it would seek "to determine what impact" the original ban might have on the IWF World Championships.
That left visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen unable to enter the US.
The directive, which also included a 120-day ban on all refugees, came into action on March 16.
The previous order, which divided the nation, was blocked by a Federal court.
It led to repercussions in the sporting world with American participation at the United World Wrestling (UWW) Freestyle World Cup in Iran placed in jeopardy due to retaliatory measures.
After the policy was blocked in the courts, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif vowed that visas would be given to American wrestlers and they went on to compete.
Zarif said requests from the Iranian Wrestling Federation and UWW had being contributing factors for the decision.
Great Britain's four-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Mo Farah was also a critic, claiming Trump had made him an "alien".
The Somalian-born distance runner described the order as "crazy and unfair" and admitted he was concerned about returning to his home in Portland in Oregon.
Two members of the Iranian delegation for the Indoor Archery World Cup Final in Las Vegas were also prevented from travelling to the US after they were unable to secure visas in time.
Anaheim stepped in to replace Penang as hosts of the 2017 IWF World Championships in October after the Malaysian state encountered financial difficulties.
It means that for the first time in history two successive editions of the event will be staged in the US after Houston in Texas hosted the 2015 competition.
The Anaheim Convention Centre will be the venue for the competition.