Recently, in a video published online, Atefeh Abbasi and her husband, both holders of gold medal in international biking tournaments, were shown working as street vendors. The regime’s behavior has forced many Iranian athletes into exile. In June 26, 2019, state-run Khabar-e-Varzeshi sport news agency reported that Saman Balaghi, member of the National Para-basketball Team, who was in Germany for the international tournaments, has requested asylum from the German government.

During its 40 years of rule, the Iranian regime has executed many national athletes, such as Habib Khabiri, former captain of the Iranian national soccer team, executed in 1988, or Foroozan Abdi, member of Iran’s women’s national volleyball team, executed in 1988 along with 30,000 other political prisoners supporter of the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MEK).