Several Controversies Facing the Rio Olympic Games

Several Controversies Facing the Rio Olympic Games

There is no shortage of controversies at this year’s Olympics, whether they are caused by the athletes, the organizing committees, or someone else.

The IOC sent home Egyptian judoka Islam El Shehaby for refusing to shake his Israeli competitor Or Sasson’s hand after losing to him on Friday. When called back to the floor to give a customary bow, El Shehaby gave Sasson a brief nod as the crowd booed him.[1]

Islam El Shehaby and Or Sasson
Islam El Shehaby (on right) refused to shake Or Sasson’s hand (on left) after losing a judo match.
Photo source:

French runner Wilhem Belocian was disqualified after a false start in the 110m hurtles, the only event he qualified for. He started running a split second before the rest of the runners. There has not been a second chance for false starts since 2010 because the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) wanted to speed up competition and avoid having runners use false starts as a competitive advantage.[2]

Over the weekend, Ryan Lochte and some teammates were allegedly robbed at gunpoint over the weekend. However, several sources, including Associated Press, the IOC, USOC, Lochte and his personal coach, stated that this incident did not happen. This information comes after Lochte stated on Tuesday that he was robbed. Police are unable to learn much about the robbery because Lochte stated that he does not remember what happened due to intoxication. A judge ordered him and teammate Jimmy Feigen to remain in Rio, but authorities are unable to find them. Lochte’s father stated that Lochte returned to the United States as a safety precaution.[3]

Ryan Lochte
Ryan Lochte
Photo source:

Athletes are not the only source of controversy during the Games. Police arrested an Irish member of the IOC’s executive board named Patrick Hickey for being connected to an Olympic ticket-scalping scheme. The IOC stated that the allegations concern about 1,000 tickets out of the 6.5 million total tickets and that police have not questioned any other IOC officials. Hickey temporarily stepped down from his position following the arrest.[4]

The IAAF caused controversy when it banned Russian long jumper Darya Klishina from competing in the Olympics. She was initially allowed to compete because her drug tests went through the American system instead of the Russian system. However, the IAAF later banned her because of some new unspecified information that had come up. She appealed the case, and the Court of Arbitration for Sport allowed her to compete again.[5]

Another source of controversy for this year’s Olympics is the game officials. The International Boxing Association sent home an unspecified number of referees and judges because their scoring did not meet the proper standards. This decision comes in the wake of three controversial decisions made during the Games so far, but the Association did not name the judges being removed or the bouts they judged in.[6]

So far, the Rio 2016 Olympics have produced several controversies on multiple fronts.










You must be logged in to post a comment Login