Thursday 8 of December, 2022
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Egyptian Judoka Was NOT Sent Home, Says Egyptian Judo Association

"All the judo players returned home as part of their scheduled flight," the entity said.

Staff Writer

The scandal triggered by Egyptian judoka Islam El-Shehaby, who refused to shake hands with his Israeli opponent Or Sasson after being defeated in the Olympic match, continues to unfold. According to several publications, including Reuters and The Guardian, El-Shehaby was sent home from Rio de Janeiro by his own team for his refusal to shake hands, but the Egyptian Judo FA said that he had returned to Egypt according to schedule.

The Executive Director of the Judo Federation, Wahid Farid, said that "all the judo players and some other members of the delegation returned home on Sunday as part of their scheduled flight." On Monday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had announced that El-Shehaby had been sent home by the Egyptian team, after the Disciplinary Commission sent a “severe reprimand” to the athlete. The OIC stated his behavior was considered “contrary to the rules of fair play and against the friendship embodied in the Olympic Values,” the entity said in a statement.

However, Farid said that the athlete hasn’t been notified of any blame or sanctions against him "until this moment,” neither by the Egyptian Olympic Committee nor the Egyptian Federation. "Handshake isn't a must in Judo. Judokas are only obligated to bow and he did that," he said in an interview with Ahram Online. 

“I have no problem with Jewish people or any other religion or different beliefs,” El-Shehaby had told L'Esprit du Judo last week. “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,” he said. According to Al Ahram Online, the athlete had been reportedly pressured by fans on social media not to compete against the Israeli opponent.