The Lebanese Judo Team was told that they were splitting one of the training gyms with the Israeli national team. What was Lebanon’s response? We don’t even want to see them!
That’s right the Lebanese team refused to even practice in the same gym with the Israeli team unless a separation barrier was erected so they wouldn’t even have to look at the Israeli team.
According to a report in the Times of Israel,
“The Lebanese judo team at the 2012 London Olympics refused to practice next to the Israeli one on Friday afternoon, and a makeshift barrier was erected to split their gym into two halves. According to several Hebrew sports sites, the two teams were scheduled to use the same gym and mats at London’s new ExCeL center for their final preparations. However, the delegation from Lebanon would not train in view of the Israeli team, and insisted some sort of barrier be placed between them.Organizers accepted the Lebanese coach’s demand to separate the teams, erecting a barrier so that the Lebanese team wouldn’t see the Israeli one.”
International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge has made it clear to all Olympic participant countries that sanctions will be levied on any team who refuses to compete with another team due to political considerations.
“We have just told all the national Olympic committees that we expect all the athletes to respect the schedule of competition and not to pull out without a good reason for competition against an athlete of another country. If nation A does not appear at the competition against nation B we will ask for explanations,” he said. “If the explanation is not satisfactory and valid at the end of it and is not credible then we will go into cross-examination by an independent medical board. And if the medical board says it is not a genuine reason then sanctions will be taken. That is quite clear.”
Due to the way Israeli athletes are treated by neighboring Arab countries, they choose to compete in more European competitions and not regional ones.