Paris: On Saturday, she was lauded as the first Iranian woman to ever compete in an official boxing bout.
But now Sadaf Khadem is in exile, cancelling plans to return home after an arrest warrant was issued for her in Tehran, her representative said on Wednesday as Iranian authorities issued a denial.
Khadem had reportedly trained in hiding and then in France, where she qualified for her first bout. She beat a French boxer, Anne Chauvin, in the bout, which took place in western France on Saturday.
She was expected to return to Iran to a hero's welcome. But her representative, Clara Dallay, told Reuters that authorities had issued arrest warrants against her and fight organiser Mahyar Monshipour.
Monshipour, an Iranian-born former boxing world champion who is now a French citizen, set up the bout after Iran opened the door to allowing women to box.
Hossein Soori, the head of Iran's boxing federation, denied Khadem would be arrested, attributing the information to "media linked to Saudi Arabia".
"Mrs Khadem is not a member of [Irans] organised athletes for boxing, and from the boxing federations perspective all her activities are personal," he was quoted as saying by the semi-official ISNA news agency.
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