The International Olympic Committee has ordered Egyptian authorities to educate competitors about the Olympic values ahead of future Games – as it issued a severe reprimand to a judoka who refused to shake his Israeli opponent’s hand.
Islam El Shehaby was defeated on Friday in the 100kg judo by Or Sasson, who went on to claim Israel’s second bronze medal in Rio. However video footage showed him moving away from the Israeli as the latter put out his hand at the end of the contest. He has since been sent home by the Egyptian Olympic authorities.
A disciplinary commission, ordered by president Thomas Bach within an hour of the controversy, has now ruled that El Shehaby’s behaviour “was contrary to the rules of fair play and against the spirit of friendship embodied in the Olympic Values”.
IOC spokesman Mark Adams told the Jewish News the commission issued a “severe reprimand for inappropriate behaviour” to the athlete. It noted that while he bowed at his opponent at the end of the bout the shaking of hands after a match is not in the competition rules of the International Judo Federation.
Adams said: “As well as a severe reprimand, the DC has asked the Egyptian Olympic Committee to ensure in future that all their athletes receive proper education on the Olympic Values before coming to the Olympic Games.
“The Egyptian Olympic Committee has also strongly condemned the actions of Mr Islam El Shehaby and has sent him home. The President of the NOC issued a statement saying they respected all athletes and all nations at the Olympic Games.”
El Shehaby had previously come under pressure on social media to skip the bout, but had reportedly been warned by Egyptian authorities he risked losing his citizenship.
The incident came a week after Lebanese delegates stopped the Israelis from boarding a bus they were travelling on ahead of the Opening Ceremony. The Lebanese were quickly chastised by the IOC over the incident.