Egyptian Olympian sent home for refusing to shake Israeli opponent's hand 5 years ago

Egyptian Olympian sent home for refusing to shake Israeli opponent's hand

"Against the spirit of friendship."

Islam El Shehaby lost to Israel's Or Sasson in the first round of the Men's 100kg judo competition and then provoked shrill booing, and a mountain of controversy, by refusing to shake his hand.

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El Shehaby did nod at Sasson when called back by the referee but it was not enough for some commentators, and fans. In an interview with L'Esprit du Judo, the Egyptian 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."

El Shehaby's stance has now resulted in his being 'strongly reprimanded' by the International Olympics Committee and sent home from the games.

The IOC, who seem to let an awful lot of unsporting behaviour fly, stated that the judoka's actions went 'against the spirit of friendship embodied in the Olympic values'.

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