Update 24.02.2014: Salimi and Co. are back in the national team and take part in training camps. (via)
The Iranian National Weightlifting Team posted a photo (24 June) on Facebook showing Behdad Salimi, Kianoush Rostami, Saeid Mohammadpour, Sajjad Anoushiravani, Navab Nassirshalal together with a caption “WE MISS THEM!”.
As to why this happened, they said
They had a trouble with coach
Salimi and others don’t want Bagheri! (coach)
This is in line with one of the interviews on Iranian television where Behdad and his coach got into a really heated argument in front of cameras.
In the video Salimi complains, among other things, about the bad language Kourosh Bagheri uses in training. Salimi says that he can’t bear no more disrespecting from the coach. Coach says it’s not true.
If you know more about the story please comment below. There must have been more about this in Iranian media.
Update: Translation of the Video
TV host asks Begheri in Iran we have always had problems and issues with sports and media, coaches and athletes… and now eventually in the the sport of weightlifting.
Bagheri: Unfortunately from 2003 to 2010 we haven’t won any medals in the sport of weightlifting (other than Rezazadeh’s medals) , that he believes it was because of his own effort and potential in the sport. There was others who worked hard, however for several reasons they didn’t succeed.
In 2010 Rezazadeh became the president. Before we had 4 lifters who had positive drug test. Since after with the presence of Salimi and other lifters we managed to win several medals, for the 1st time in the history of Iran we won the world junior weightlifting with these same lifters, came third at the senior level for the first time and until olympic which we won very important medals.
The media wasn’t very thankful to us and they expected higher results or first place.
TV host asks Salimi you are the world champion and Olympic champion but why are you not called for the national team since after the Olympics? Are you physically not prepared? are you not training?
Behdad: you should ask Mr. Bagheri why I’ve not been called to the national team. I am back to training a while now and now I’m over 80% prepared and I don’t know my self that why mr Bagheri didn’t call me to the training camp. However our argument is not about why he called me or not. It is not about being physically prepared or not.
TV Host: Then what is all of these problems and issues about? Where and when did all of these start from?
Salimi: We had these issues even since before the olympics. We thought if we win olympic medals maybe these problems, disrespects, insults… can be solved. Unfortunately even after the olympics they continued.
TV host: Can you tell us about the way the communicate to you and other lifters? can you tell us more? Lets solve the issue.
Salimi: Our problem (Salimi and other Olympians) is that Mr.Bagheri is disrespecting us.
TV Host: How?
Salimi: In my opinion his tone of voice and the way he speaks is very bad, the words and the language he uses is very inappropriate.
Begheri: Can you tell people two of those words that I used???
Salimi: Before all of these problems started I had an interview that I said our athletes are very innocent and nice and it’s not right to communicate to them in this way and this can cause problems in the future. Three days after I went to the training hall with the kids and subjuniors were around, the kids who I am an idol for, Mr. Bagheri spoke to me in a very inappropriate way and used dirty words which I can’t say the word in TV broadcast. This is just one of the examples, there were many more and still is.
Bagheri: Since you reminded me of that story I will tell you why I spoke to you and other lifters like that. This was because when you and all the other lifters were being too relax and not taking things seriously. If i’m not wrong Mr. Salimi 5 months before the 2011 world championships he lifted a total of 475kg total but now which is about 5 to 6 months to the 2013 world championships he can’t even lift enough to win a medal. The reason I spoke loudly is because in training hall there is a lot of noise from the weights and lifters. These lifters want two things. First they don’t want Bagheri, no problem is not what I own I came one day and will go some day. The weightlifting federation has a president and coach. The 1st place that salimi spoke to was the media and newspaper.
Salimi: the 1st place that Mr. Bagheri spoke to was also newspaper.
Bagheri: About what?
Salimi: If you have a problem with someone you go and talk to him/her personally. We had all of these issues since before the olympics but we did not let this to affect our psychology.
Bagheri: Said to Salimi that in weightlifting no one won any medal in Iran for 7 years until I came, with my programs, knowledge and this same bad personality and attitude that you are telling me about.
Salimi: Don’t try to change the topic and discussion.
Bagheri: People should know how we achieved these medals.
Salimi: No you are carrying and changing the topic to some other topic. Even my self I always said that Bagheri has very scientific and good training program with great training discipline and I also agree.
Bagheri: Then why are there interviews that you said Bagheri’s training program injure my shoulder.
Salimi: Yes I did said that but I also said even if his training caused to injure my shoulder we even won medal with his coaching.
Salimi: Let me tell you since from my 1st competition at junior level I alway sown Gold medal and attacked Rezazadeh’s record many times without your coaching until I came to the senior level when you start coaching me.
Bagheri: So are you trying to say my coaching was not so useful?
Salimi: When you say it ” worked on 4 other lifters as much as worked on Salimi they would have been as successful as salimi”, you are wrong. Who is going to win gold in the superheavy this year?
Bagheri: Sit down at home and you will get your answer in 5 months. I still haven’t get my answer. What do you and your friends want from Kourosh Bagheri?
Salimi: I don’t think with this situation me and other lifters can work with you.
Bagheri: Why not? You will cheat on your self. You can still win many more medals.
Salimi: I can do it with you and without you.
Salimi: I can win with you but not with this situations such as bad language and insult and disrespects.
Bagheri: You are making it sound like since after the olympics I have been swearing at you everyday and you didn’t say anything. Why all of a sudden you are talking about this now?
Salimi: Before the Olympics I and Anoushirvani had many arguments.
Bagheri: No we never had, specially I didn’t had any argument with your self before the Olympics.
Salimi: Yes we did many times you are lying now. Be honest! How many times myself, Anoushirvani and other lifters had arguments with you?
Bagheri: Zero we never did I can’t remember. Specially with you never did. Why didn’t you tell Rezazadeh or others?
Salimi: You are not saying the truth. Because if I did I would have the same problems as I have now before the Olymics I wanted to focus on training and didn’t want anything to bother me psychologically.
Bagheri: I am sorry that you are not saying the truth your self and not being honest.
TV host: Lets now get the final result from this discussion Lets forget about these arguments ” you said this, I didn’t say that…” Whatever happened was in the past. Can you set aside the past mr Salimi and forget everything?
Salimi: Definetly not with this situation, if you go to the newspaper in the past you can see the sentence and word that they used for me, people can go and see what word they used for me in capital letter.
TV Host: if you didn’t won Olympic gold would you still have these problems?
Salimi: Please listen now, everything I do is because of the people and the love of people of Iran and my country and to raise my country’s flag in another country. All of these was for the love of my land and I would like they to have respect for me, I don’t expect some people to use dirty words on me could be personally or media or newspaper.
Bagheri: So what Mr. Salimi wants now?
Salimi: Can’t work like this.
TV Host: Let’s not argue and fight now.
Bagheri: This is argument and fight, Have you seen anyone to share Halva (baqlava sweet) in a fight? Look weightlifting is not only Kourosh Bagheri and Behdad Salimi, Weightlifting has history of over 60 years in Iran. A lot of champions came and went. In my opinion I did not disrespect anyone, I’m not a person to speak like ” Behdad could you please…”
Salimi: Just not harsh language
Bagheri: I’m sorry for you Salimi.
Salimi: I’m sorry that you are lying.
… arguement continued
At the end there was a question to people.
How can the future of weightlifting be improved in Iran? 78% work on the problems of athletes under the federation and the coaches, 21% change the programs of the federation.
Then there was also this video with the description (from April):
Following the verbal attack of Behdad Salimi, Iranian weightlifting Olympic champion, against his coach Kourosh Bagheri on Live TV, the Iranian weightlifting Federation does not take him to Uzbekistan to receive his award as the world’s best weightlifter. Instead Hossein Reza Zadeh the head of Iranian weightlifting Federation receives the award!
i have a feeling that the coach will be out soon and that they will all be back. quite sad to see, big fan of them in particular like rostami style
I’ve always known that Bagheri was a prick.
Please be more constructive when commenting here. You may feel this way, but saying stuff like this does not add value to the discussion.
You are right, I am sorry. I will correct it 🙂
Heard they’d been out a while ago but thanks for the confirmation. Reckon it will take Worlds to see the results drop and bring the pressure up to bring them back in and fire Bagheri. It’s sad though, despite what someone else said below I somehow always had a positive impression of him when I saw him in comp…
I agree. It’s a shame that they won’t participate.
The interesting thing is I always had a negative impression of him when I saw him in competitions.
I can’t imagine the Iranians NOT getting Salimi back on the roster ASAP. He’s still the best 105+ in the game right now, even after Albegov’s excellent performance at the Universiade.
I agree with Gee on this, it might take a disappointing show at 2013 worlds to convince them but I don’t think Salimi and co. will be out for long.
Bagheri does use language in training but Salimi needs to learn to deal with it. Iranian coaches are harsh , but they get results . In Iran one of my teammates was forgetting to keep his wrist in during second pull of snatch and the coach said he would smack his face into the wall if he forgot one more time. Its just the way it works.
Jon Frough says
It’s not to say that it won’t get results. It’s the say world class athletes don’t need that kind of third world badgering. I’m sure there are plenty of coaches with the same skill and capacity that can handle those athletes with respect and still get performance.
It is not 3rd world badgering it is the culture, I will tell you this. I dont believe that the olympians are leaving because of Bagheri’s language, there are rumors that rezazadeh is sort of a dictator in the iranian weightlifting scene and this move might have been more politically rooted. That is my guess
jonathan kariv says
Interesting. Do you think we’ll see these guys lifting for somewhere else now they’re off the iranian team?
I dont know, one coach said america showed interest in salimi but I didnt buy it. Turkey, Azerbijan countries like that maybe interested.
jonathan kariv says
I’ll take your word for it that this is how it works in the Iranian system. As you say they do get results. Salimi and the others have been trained in that system for quite a few years though. Based on that I’d think that them leaving would indicate something out of the ordinary for the iranian system, rather than something out of the ordinary for a western system.
Edit: Also if you’ve actually trained with these guys that’s freaking awesome
I have not trained with salimi but I have trained under 1 very well known coach in iran and witness a 94 kg go 220/180 in the same practice
Oh, man… All of you would LAUGH and AMAZE yourselves about this same situations (bad language, verbal aggresions, etc) inside Colombia’s weightlifting, if you knew all the stories I have to tell. Except that no one cares here about weightlifting nor the athletes, so they all have to suck it up. “Funny” country the one I live in, where people kill each other because of a unimportant match between two shitty teams, but they don’t know anything or care about the sport who whas brought the country the most olympic medals and the one in which is quite important in the pan-american scene.
Anyway, I hope to see Salimi and Rostami back soon!
weightlifting doesn’t have a moral superiority over any sport, you know? caring about two “shitty” football temas is just as irrational/understandable as caring about a fat guy puting x amount of weight overhead.
I didn’t mean to offend anyone. What I meant is that SPORT is about results, about high performance, and in Colombia soccer teams are plainly awful and people live AND DIE (literally) because of them. Now, I do respect soccer as well as any other sport, but good, high performance soccer, not the one that is displayed here, which is shameful in an international scene. Now, with weightlifting it’s a complete different story around here; we are kinda good, and we have the potential to be really good, but people here doesn’t care about weightlifting, and coaches, managers and politicians are arguing between each other all over the time, and the big losers here are both the sport and the athletes.
By the way, where are you from, andresarpi?
First, colombia soccer team is far from awful. They are well on the on their way to the world cup and Falcao (soy de River) is one of the best 5 players in the world right now. The thing is that football is the most popular and competitive sport in the planet 265000000 people play it, to 1000000? in weightlifting. Sheer number, it’s much more difficult to be great. No se porque estoy hablando en ingles, saludos desde argentina y suerte en las eliminatorias y el mundial.
Bagheri has people’s support, they won’t come back anytime soon, and even without these 5, Iran still have world class weightlifters to win medal in 2013. The way Salimi talked to his coach in a live TV show completely damaged his image in public.
Do you have the transcription AND translation (even a rough one)? Would be really interesting to know exactly what happened (what was said) here.
An Iranian former lifter translated the interview for me.
Translation added to the post. Thanks, Gregor
Wow, thanks Stephen!
You are a gentleman!
if i could, i would kiss and hug you 🙂
Maybe Bagheri has changed over the years but I met him at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and he was very polite with a good sense of humour. He taught himself English from books and spoke it quite well although he was modest about it. His first coach before Mr Ivanov went to Iran was Davoud Maleki, an old friend and 56kg lifter from the 1970’s.
Mark Clegg says
I suspect you may not see Salimi again lifting .. Look at the Aaron Cook Olympic Scandal of 2012 .. Aaron was World Champion and World number 1 in Taekwondo yet GB didn’t pick him .. He has now left GB and will now compete under Isle Of Man . It happens in our Western countries too… Who’s more important – Coach ? Lifter ?
Cant really work out who is saying what, either he is overly hash or they are to sensitive, he must swear pretty bad for all of them to fall out with him