Iran Bans Female Billiards Players For Violating Islamic Codes Of Conduct

Iranian sports authorities say they have banned five female billiards players from competing for a year for allegedly violating Islamic codes of conduct during a tournament in China.

The Iranian Billiards and Bowling Federation did not reveal the specific allegations, saying only that they would be announced at a later date.

"The female players who attended the China Open will be banned from participating in all domestic and international competitions for one year due to violations of Islamic principles," the federation's disciplinary committee said in a statement on March 30.

Iranian women are permitted to participate in a number of international sporting events, but must respect strict rules regarding Islamic dress at all times.

Iran enforces a dress code that requires women to cover their hair with the Islamic head scarf, or hijab, and enforces the measure through periodic crackdowns.

Female officials, athletes, and other national representatives are also required to respect the hijab guideline while traveling abroad.

In February, the Iranian National Chess Team banned 18-year-old Dorsa Derakhshani from domestic chess tournaments and the national team for appearing at a tournament in Gibraltar without a head scarf.

Based on reporting by RFE/RL's Radio Farda, ISNA, and Tasnim