Iranian athlete Khadijeh Azadpour, who won a gold medal at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, says that officials told her she would only be given the apartment she was promised as a reward for winning a gold medal if she got married.
Azadpour, 22, who won the gold medal in Sanshou 60kg Wushu (a Chinese martial art) at the Asian Games on November 17, told the website "Tebyan
" that the authorities had not kept their promise.
"Before I left, they promised to give me a house if I won a gold medal. They said, 'After you return, you will get the keys to the apartment at the airport,'" she said.
"But unfortunately it didn't happen and after following up they said that the conditions had changed and only if you get married will the reward be yours."
She said the decision would damage her morale and the morale of other athletes, adding that such incidents could also make her lose her motivation to compete in other sporting events.
Azadpour said she worked hard to win the gold medal. She said she trained for nine months, day and night. She also said that the Iranian authorities should treat female and male athletes equally.
"In my view there is no difference between my gold medal and the gold medals won by the men, [the authorities] should look at athletes the same way."
The Sanshou champion said that if female athletes had access to the same sports facilities as men, they might be even more successful than their male colleagues. RFE/RL's Radio Farda
sports reporter Mehdi Rostampour writes that there was "discrimination" between men and women athletes even before the games.
"Iran's sports organization gave male athletes who were being sent to Guangzhou 10 million toumans while female athletes received only 900,000 toumans," he notes.
-- Golnaz Esfandiari