Sohrab Moradi, an Olympic champion for Iran at Rio 2016, has retired from the sport at the age of 34 ©Brian Oliver

One of Iran’s two Olympic champions from Rio 2016 has retired and the other’s future is in doubt after he failed to attend a trials event this week.

Sohrab Moradi, who set out on the qualification pathway to Paris 2024 six weeks ago at the age of 34, has succumbed to the injuries that have plagued him for four years and announced his decision to retire on social media today.

Moradi won at the old 94 kilograms weight in Rio and still holds the clean and jerk world record in the current 96kg category, which he set in winning his second world title in 2018.

He has suffered serious back and shoulder injuries, had surgery on his shoulder for a second time 11 months ago and said at the Asian Championships in Korea last month that he was hoping to qualify for Paris in the 102kg category.

But he had to lift in the B Group in his "step by step" recovery programme, and was more than 50kg down on his career best numbers.

This week Moradi was unable to lift in the clean and jerk at the team trials after snatching 165kg, and agreed with team officials that it was time to retire.

He thanked the public for their support and said: "I announce today that I will say goodbye to professional sports.

"I hope that I have been able to bring honour for Iran and will have a permanent place in your hearts and memories."

The Iranian Weightlifting Federation will arrange a farewell ceremony for Moradi "in recognition of all the years of effort and honour that Sohrab Moradi had in the national team," said national coach Nawab Nasirshahal.

Kianoush Rostami, who missed a Paris 2024 trials event this week, in action at the 2022 IWF World Championships ©Brian Oliver
Kianoush Rostami, who missed a Paris 2024 trials event this week, in action at the 2022 IWF World Championships ©Brian Oliver

Nasirshahal used the trials to select teams for the International Weightlifting Federation World Championships in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China in the first week of October.

Kianoush Rostami, who won gold in the old 85kg category in Rio, is in neither team after he failed to take part in the trials, apparently because of a leg injury.

Rostami has often had disagreements with federation coaches and officials in the past, and has trained alone.

Nasirshahal told local media that absentees would not be selected, and said of Rostami: "We no longer accept the previous conditions, and if he wants to go to a competition, he must enter the national team camp and train in the camp like other weightlifters."

The coach’s decision was said to have been approved by the federation President Sajjad Anoushirvani and vice-president Behdad Salimi, who were team-mates of Rostami at London 2012, where all three won medals.

Rostami, 31, has had a leg injury for a while but is in fifth place in the 89kg rankings for Paris and if he recovers fully he could be a potential medallist.

The final entries stage for the World Championships is on Tuesday (July 4) and the Iran Federation could yet decide to enter him for Saudi Arabia, though not the Asian Games team, as an "insurance policy."

Because he has already made a good total and is highly placed, Rostami could participate - weigh in and present himself for anti-doping tests - in the World Championships without lifting, and give himself more time to reach full fitness.

Participation in the World Championships is compulsory for anybody intent on qualifying for Paris.

Others who failed to reach their target numbers at the trials, and who have been dropped from the national team training camp, include Reza Hassanpour, Abbas Fakhrzare and Hossein Biranvand.