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Sports World Is Praying For Iranian Athlete Following Reports

Iran's Elnaz Rakabi climbs during a competition.

Iran's Elnaz Rekabi competes in the Women's Lead qualification at the indoor World Climbing and Paraclimbing Championships 2016 at the Accor Hotels Arena in Paris on September 14, 2016. / AFP / MIGUEL MEDINA (Photo credit should read MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images)

On Sunday, Iranian climber Elnaz Rekabi competed in the International Federation of Sport Climbing’s Asian Championships without wearing a hijab.

Rekabi's decision to climb without her hijab has led to reports that she may be in danger upon returning to Iran, where there have been massive nationwide protests following the death of a 22-year-old Iranian woman who died in police custody after being arrested for wearing her hijab improperly.

According to a report from IranWire, Rekabi will be transferred to prison when she arrives back in her home country. BBC Persian also reported Monday that friends and family had trouble contacting the 33-year-old athlete.

In an Instagram post on her account on Tuesday, Rekabi said her hijab "inadvertently came off" during her climb and that she was returning to Iran "alongside the team based on the pre-arranged schedule."

Still, there is concern that Rekabi may have written that post under duress, and many are praying for her safety. 

"Devastating what they're doing to the women of Iran. I truly hope they can continue to fight this obscene oppression," one woman wrote.

"Kidnapping our talents abroad! Second account heard in the past few days. Hope this is not true," said another.

"This is outrageous. #FreeRekabi," one man added.

Iranian rules mandate that women wear a hijab when representing the country in competition abroad.

Hopefully, Rekabi will be kept safe.