Islam El Shehaby made headlines at the 2016 Olympics on Friday after refusing to shake the hand of his opponent following a loss in judo. He has now been sent home by his own country’s Olympic committee.
El Shehaby, an Egyptian, lost a first-round heavyweight bout to Israel’s Or Sasson. After the match, Sasson bowed and attempted to shake his opponent’s hand, but El Shehaby backed away and refused, and was roundly booed by the crowd.
Judo opponents are expected to bow and/or shake hands before and after matches.
The International Olympic Committee has weighed in and “severely” reprimanded El Shehaby. The IOC said his 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” from Rio. The EOC claimed that El Shehaby was “alerted before the match to abide by all the rules and to have sporting spirit during his match with the Israeli player.”
The 34-year-old El Shehaby is an ultraconservative Salafi Muslim and had been pressured by some in Egypt to withdraw from his match with the 25-year-old Sasson.
For his part, Sasson handled the situation as well as could be expected. He went on to earn a bronze medal.