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15 Aug, 2016 23:59

Egyptian athlete sent home from Rio after refusing to shake Israeli opponent's hand

Egyptian athlete sent home from Rio after refusing to shake Israeli opponent's hand

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has sent Egyptian judo fighter Islam El Shehaby home after he refused to shake his Israeli opponent’s hand.

El Shehaby refused to shake the hand of rival Or Sasson at the end of their first-round match on Friday, much to the annoyance of the crowd who booed. The referee then requested El Shehaby bow, after which he gave a quick nod.

READ MORE: Egyptian judoka jeered after refusing to shake Israeli opponent’s hand

The IOC said on Monday that the Egyptian's conduct "was contrary to the rules of fair play and against the spirit of friendship embodied in Olympic values” and handed down a "severe reprimand", sending the 34-year-old home.

The Egyptian Olympic Committee also "strongly condemned" El Shehaby's actions, according to AP.

The ruling was broadly welcomed on social media, with many branding it the right decision and that there was no place for politics at the Olympics.

Others even went a little further, saying that El Shehaby had “no manners” and that “evil starts in the heart.” 

Another noted that that it was good to see the IOC “finally” take a stand “for the Olympic principle.” 

There were some morsels of support for El Shehaby with some citing the conflict between Israel and Palestine as a legitimate reason for not shaking hands with Or Sasson.