The Iranian Ski Federation has received billions of tomans' worth of guarantees from members of the national cross-country skiing team, who yesterday boarded a plane to Oberstdorf, Germany for the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships.
This wasn't to cover flights, documentation or hotels. According to a source in the Ski Federation, all but two members of the team had been asked to guarantee a 2.5 billion toman "bail" [$104,000] in a bid to ensure that they will not try to flee Iran from Germany.
The other two athletes were made to provide a bigger deposit worth five billion tomans [$208,000] each, which could comprise all or part of their personal or family homes. Athletes were asked to provide these guarantees on Tuesday, February 16, a day before dispatch, and to deliver it to the intelligence department at the Ski Federation.
Then in early March 2017, the Revolutionary Guards-affiliated Tasnim News Agency had quoted Seyed Abdi Eftekhari, the then-President of the Ski Federation, describing Alireza Moghdid as a "little-known" skier who had applied for asylum in Finland at the end of a skiing competition. Later that same month, Mashregh News reported the "voluntary return" of Alireza Moghdid to Iran. He deleted the pictures he had posted on his personal Instagram account after being granted asylum in Finland, and resettled in Iran.