The olympics are about sportsmanship and about countries getting together in peace and harmony despite everything else that is going on in the world. They are not just about competition. Not shaking the hand of an opponent goes against this spirit of compromise and harmony, and is definitely a reason for an Olympic athlete to be sent home.
Whenever possible, politics and conflicts among countries should be left out of the Olympics. The Olympic games provide an opportunity for people around the world to share and celebrate individual achievement. When we see how the people of different cultures are similar to ourselves, it contributes to a more peaceful world.
The Olympics are meant to elevate and appreciate the world's most accomplished athletes and to bring the world closer together. If cooperation and respect are what increases world unity, then a lack of courtesy destroys that goal. When an athlete refuses to shake another athlete's hand, regardless of personal politics, that act spoils the games. I agree that he should have been sent home.
Competition is great, but it needs to be healthy competition. That's really the whole point of the Olympics: athletes from all over the world coming together to compete and meet and spend time with each other. The whole world is supposed to come together during the Olympics. It's a competition, but it's a friendly competition to create goodwill between countries. Therefore, sportsmanship is very important in the Olympics.