Rio 2016: Egyptian judoka sent home after Israeli snub

  • AFP, Agencies, Rio de Janeiro
  • Updated: Aug 16, 2016 10:08 IST
Judoka Islam El Shehaby of Egypt (left) had refused to shake hands with Or Sasson of Israel after losing to him last week in Rio. (REUTERS)

Egyptian judoka Islam El Shehaby was sent home from the Olympics on Monday after refusing to shake hands with an Israeli opponent, sports officials said.

El Shehaby was beaten by Or Sasson in their heavyweight first-round encounter last week but at the end of the bout, he refused to either bow to the Israeli or shake his hand.

In judo it is customary to both bow to opponents --- a sign of respect in Japan --- and shake hands after a bout is over.

“The Egyptian Olympic Committee has strongly condemned the actions of Mr Islam El Shehaby and has sent him home,” said an International Olympic Committee spokesman following a meeting of the body’s disciplinary commission.

“The disciplinary commission (DC) considered that his behaviour 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 DC issued a ‘severe reprimand for inappropriate behaviour’ to the athlete.”

“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 32-year-old El Shehaby, a World Championship medallist in 2010, had faced pressure on social media and from hardline Islamist groups in his homeland to withdraw from the fight.

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