Egyptian Sent Home After Refusing to Shake Israeli's Hand
IOC also reprimanded El Shehaby
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 15, 2016 7:14 PM CDT
Egypt's Islam El Shehaby, blue, declines to shake hands with Israel's Or Sasson, white, after losing during the men's over 100-kg judo competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,...   (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

(Newser) – An Egyptian athlete who refused to shake his Israeli opponent's hand after their judo bout has been reprimanded and sent home from the Rio Olympics, officials said Monday. The International Olympic Committee said Islam El Shehaby received a "severe reprimand" for his behavior following his first-round heavyweight bout loss to Or Sasson on Friday, the AP reports. When Sasson extended his hand, El Shehaby backed away and shook his head, injecting Middle Eastern politics into the Rio Olympics. The referee called the 34-year-old El Shehaby back to the mat and obliged to him to bow; he gave a quick nod and was loudly booed as he exited.

Judo opponents typically bow or shake hands at the beginning and end of a match as a sign of respect. El Shehaby, an ultraconservative Salafi Muslim, had come under pressure from Islamist-leaning and nationalist voices in Egypt before the Rio Games to withdraw, but competed anyway. The IOC, which set up a disciplinary commission to investigate the incident, said the Egyptian's conduct "was contrary to the rules of fair play and against the spirit of friendship embodied in the Olympic values." The Egyptian Olympic Committee also "strongly condemned" El Shehaby's actions "and has sent him home," the IOC said.
 

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