Kimia Alizadeh, who had been due to be the first woman to carry Iran's flag at the Opening Ceremony of the Asian Games in Jakarta this month, has withdrawn from the taekwondo competition because of injury.
Alizadeh suffered a anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury during training for the second time in 13 months and now faces several months on the sidelines again.
Iran is still expected, though, to be represented by a woman carrying its flag at the Opening Ceremony of the Games at Jakarta's Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium on August 18.
The Tehran Times have reported that shooter Elaheh Ahmadi is now being lined up as a replacement for Alizadeh.
The 36-year-old Ahmadi is a four times Asian Games medallist having won three medals - two silvers and a bronze - at Guangzhou 2010 and a silver at Incheon 2014.
Ahmadi had been among the original shortlist of candidates to carry the flag drawn up by the National Olympic Committee of the Islamic Republic of Iran along with Alizadeh and discus thrower Ehsan Haddadi, the Olympic silver medallist at London 2012 and three-time Asian Games champion.
The injury is another major blow for 20-year-old Alizadeh, one of the emerging stars in her sport.
She had made history by becoming the first Iranian woman to win an Olympic medal when she claimed bronze in the under-57 kilograms category at Rio 2016.
Alizadeh then stepped up to the under-63kg class for last year's World Taekwondo Championships in Muju in South Korea.
She won a silver medal, losing out in the final to Ivory Coast's Ruth Gbagbi.
It followed Alizadeh's performance at the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing in 2014 when she won a gold medal at under-63kg.
But her career suffered a setback in July 2017 she suffered an ACL injury and the Asian Games was supposed to be her comeback.