French Runner Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad Stripped Of Steeplechase Victory After Shirtless Celebration
Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad, the standout French runner, cost himself a victory at the European championships after stripping off his shirt towards the end of the men’s 3,000m steeplechase.
Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad Stripped Of Gold
Mekhissi-Benabbad was in the home straight of the race, approaching the final hurdle, when he realized he had a sizable lead on the competition. In premature celebration, Mekhissi-Benabbad stripped off his track vest and held it in his mouth, waving to the crowd as he crossed the finish line victorious.
Fans cheered as Mekhissi-Benabbad celebrated his clear win, but the commentators questioned why he’d jeopardize his win with the celebratory antics. As soon as the race was over, an official gave him a yellow card warning – but that was not to be Mekhissi-Benabbad's only punishment.
After Spain – who represented fourth-place finisher Antel Mullera – appealed Mekhissi-Benabbad’s win on the basis of the infraction, he was disqualified under IAAF competition rules 143.1, 143.7, reported CNN. With Mekhissi-Benabbad disqualified, Mullera received the bronze.
The eight minutes 25.30 second finish would have given Mekhissi-Benabbad, who previously won in 2010 and 2012, his third straight victory in the European championships steeplechase race.