Published On: Tue, Aug 16th, 2016

Egyptian Judoka Who Refused to Shake Hand of Israeli Opponent Sent Home From Olympics

The International Olympic Committee says Islam Shehaby, who refused to shake Ori Sasson's hand after being beaten by the Israeli Judoka has received a 'severe reprimand.'

Egyptian Judoka Who Refused to Shake Hand of Israeli Opponent Ori Sasson Sent Home From Olympics

Egyptian judoka Islam el-Shahaby was reprimanded and sent home from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics after he refused to shake the hand of his Israeli opponent at the end of their match, Reuters reported on Monday.

El-Shahaby, who was sent back by Egypt’s national team, was also criticized by the International Olympic Committee for his failure to abide by the “rules of fair play” and “spirit of friendship” engendered by the games.

Israel’s Or Sasson, el-Shahaby’s opponent, went on to win a bronze medal in the men’s over-100kg (212 pounds) judo competition on Friday, securing the second Olympic medal for Israel in Rio thus far. Fellow judoka Yarden Gerbi also won a bronze medal in the women’s under-63kg (139 pounds) class last Tuesday.



El-Shahaby’s rebuff of Sasson was not the first time that Israelis have been denigrated at these Olympics. A Saudi athlete reportedly forfeited a first-round judo match last week to avoid facing an Israeli opponent. The Lebanese delegation also refused to share a bus to the opening ceremony with the Israeli team, going as far as to physically block the entrance. In June, Syrian boxer Ala Ghasoun withdrew from an Olympic qualifying match against an Israeli, saying that fighting him “would mean that I, as an athlete, and Syria, as a state, recognize the state of Israel.”

This is at least the third straight Summer Olympics at which Israeli athletes have faced undue hostility from Arab and Muslim competitors. In Beijing in 2008, an Iranian swimmer withdrew from events in order to avoid sharing a pool with an Israeli, and during the 2012 games in London, the Lebanese judo team refused to even practice in view of the Israelis. Organizers had to erect a separation barrier to cater to their needs.


[Photo: NBC Sports / YouTube ]



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