Egyptian judoka El Shehaby reprimanded, sent home over handshake refusal

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Monday afternoon the International Olympic Committee announced that it has reprimanded an Egyptian judoka for his refusal to shake hands with an Israeli competitor following their bout last week.

In addition to being reprimanded by the IOC, Islam El Shehaby was also reprimanded and sent home by Egypt’s Olympic committee. Following his loss to Or Sasson of Israel in a first round heavyweight judo bout Friday, El Shehaby refused to shake Sasson’s hand. Once called back onto the mat by the judge to bow in respect to his opponent, El Shehaby quickly bowed and was booed lustily by the crowd in attendance.

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.

Sasson would go on to take bronze in the competition, and according to the Associated Press he was warned by his coaches before the bout with El Shehaby that he may be refused a handshake.