The Egyptian judoka, Islam El Shehaby, has been sent home with a severe reprimand following his refusal to shake the hand of Israeli, Or Sasson, following their bout in which El Shehaby lost to the Israeli.
El Shehaby was sent home by his own team after he lost on Friday and we reprimanded by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for his actions.
“The Disciplinary Commission (DC) considered that his behavior at the end of the competition was contrary to the rules of fair play and against the spirit of friendship embodied in the Olympic Values,” the IOC said.
“The DC issued a ‘severe reprimand for inappropriate behavior’ to the athlete. It noted … the shaking of hands after a match is not in the competition rules of the International Judo Federation.”
“As well as a severe reprimand, the DC has asked the Egyptian Olympic Committee to ensure in future that all their athletes receive proper education on the Olympic Values before coming to the Olympic Games,” the IOC said.
The controversy took place after Sasson defeated El Shehaby and the pair retook their places in front of the referee, the Egyptian backed away when Sasson bowed and approached him to shake hands.
When called back by the referee to bow, El Shehaby gave a quick nod before walking off amid loud boos from the crowd.
After the incident, El Shehaby said, “Shaking the hand of your opponent is not an obligation written in the judo rules. It happens between friends and he’s not my friend.”
“I have no problem with Jewish people or any other religion or different beliefs. But for personal reasons, you can’t ask me to shake the hand of anyone from this State, especially in front of the whole world,” he said.