International Olympic Committee vows to act if athletes don't compete at Tokyo 2020 on political grounds

The International Olympic Committee has vowed to act if it determines athletes have contravened the Olympic Charter in refusing to compete at Tokyo 2020 on political grounds.

On Monday, a second judo athlete dropped out of the Olympics before facing Israel's Tohar Butbul in the 73-kilogram division. Olympic officials say Sudan's Mohamed Abdalrasool didn't show up to face Butbul in their round of 32 bout Monday despite weighing in for the bout earlier.

The International Judo Foundation didn't immediately announce a reason why Abdalrasool didn't compete, and the governing body didn't respond to requests for comment. Sudanese Olympic officials also didn't immediately comment.

Algeria's Fethi Nourine was sent home from the Tokyo Games and suspended by the IJF on Saturday after he withdrew to avoid a potential round of 32 matchup with Butbul. Nourine was supposed to face Abdalrasool for the right to meet Butbul. Nourine later confirmed to Echourouk TV the decision was based on his political beliefs.

The IOC was asked about whether it was concerned about these withdrawals, and James Macleod, the IOC director of Olympic Solidarity, said: "The IOC is always concerned in these cases and is monitoring it very closely. If there are flagrant abuses of the Olympic Charter, the IOC will take all necessary measures in that respect."

When asked further why the IOC had not taken action yet, Macleod answered: "We will investigate anything that is raised to us, and work with the NOC/IFs on a case-by-case basis. The IOC has been very clear that non-discrimination and autonomy are things we will not flinch from."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.