A U.S. team official on Tuesday said U.S wrestlers have declined an invitation to compete in a tournament in Iran, saying they have to concentrate on next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The US team said the invitation was given at short notice and should have come at least three months earlier.
The invitation to the international tournament, which takes place on Dec. 18, came in spite of political tensions between the U.S and Iran.
Wrestlers from Germany, Azerbaijan, Russia, Georgia, Cuba and Turkey were also invited.
Iran is increasingly using sporting diplomacy to build bridges with nations with which it has political differences.
The U.S wrestling team was invited to the 2017 World Cup in Kernmanshah, where U.S Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs was greeted with chants of `USA! USA!’ from the Iranian crowd. (dpa/NAN)