ANKARA: The International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) has banned Turkish world wrestling champion Riza Kayaalp for six months for his racist remarks against Armenians and Greeks three weeks ago.
Kayaalp had targetted Greeks and Armenians in his tweets posted during the Gezi Park unrest in Turkey started May 31 and rocked the country nearly for two months.
European and World champion Kayaalp, who also won a bronze medal at the Olympic Games in London last year, advocated that “Armenians” were at the root of the Gezi protests, in a series of tweets he later deleted.
His tweets included “You just leave the streets to Armenians, you traitors. God will punish you hooligans!”
“He was given an immediate suspension of six months by the FILA judge, and he has the right to appeal. I do not know the exact details as I do not interfere in such activities. We have a prosecutor and a judge. 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,” FILA President Nenad Lalovic said.
Kayaalp will noy be able to participate in the upcoming world wrestling championship, which is scheduled to be held in Budapest on September 16-22.