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Runner DQ’d at European Championships for taking shirt off before win

Aug 14, 2014, 4:50 PM EDT

France’s Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad was stripped of what appeared to be a third straight European Championships title in the 3000m steeplechase after he was disqualified for taking off his shirt and putting it in his mouth in the last 100 meters.

Here’s video of Mekhissi-Benabbad’s antics.

It’s not his first run-in with trouble. After he won the European Championship in 2012, the Frenchman shoved the meet mascot, which was reportedly being worn by a 14-year-old girl.

In 2011, he and another French runner were suspended after they came to punches following a Diamond League race.

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But back to Thursday night in Zurich. Here’s a photo timeline of the Frenchman’s finish, via Getty Images:




source: Getty Images


source: Getty Images

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  1. proceednet - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:07 AM

    So the kid got excited and decided to strip. Big deal.

    • jackelope62 - Aug 15, 2014 at 12:19 PM

      The issue at hand is arrogance. He if far from the world’s best steeplechase runner and he could have tripped and fallen. People even showboat in the middle of games and I’m so sick of it, I no longer watch sports.

      • ligpicou - Aug 16, 2014 at 2:41 PM

        Hum sorry but typical anglo-saxon english-speaker francophobia… Are you just francophobe or also uneducated to write such things and fakes? This is just big euphoria and pride (but pride of is never arrogance) by an athlet seeings his final victory in a big international championship, quite simply. It is not easy to win and the result of long long time of work and hard work! NO arrogance there just a little crazy reaction seeing the victory come to him (the German pitcher who tore his T-shirt after his victories, he is arrogant for you?). To the opposite this French athlet always is the first to go after the race always greet all the other athletes of the race.
        After he is far of the best top worlds level of 3000m Steeple that you say? IS IT A JOKE? This guy is the SILVER MEDAL of the last World Championship and the SILVER MEDAL of the last Olympic Games London2012! It is “far” for you to be in the world’s TOP2 and the second best athlet in a sport?! LOL… Hypocritical and pathetic francophobia…

  2. tominma - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:16 AM

    Looks like somebody took a stupid pill the day of the race!

  3. ballparkprints - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:43 AM

    Reads like, and the phots seem to show that something else is going on in his head and maybe they should be talking to him to see if needs help…

  4. happster - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:47 AM

    What an a hole

  5. jdcookconsulting - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:54 AM

    If you took away medals from idiot athletes no one would have medals

  6. b1boy - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:00 AM

    They can strip the medal all they want but everyone still knows who won the race. It would be awkward
    if you finished second but now they want to present you the gold medal as if you actually won.

  7. mike334m - Aug 15, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    Can we all agree that laying down on the track, or the tennis court, or whatever, after the event is something that only tennis pussies should do?

  8. Alec Riddle - Aug 15, 2014 at 10:47 AM

    Controversy follows controversial characters. This guy has traded blows with a fellow athlete at a Diamond League event and also shoved a Mascot (14 yo girl) after a race. What a whacko!

  9. mogogo1 - Aug 15, 2014 at 10:57 AM

    Can’t say I feel sorry for the dufus. But curious what the actual reason was he got the victory taken away… Was it for showing up the other athletes? Is there a uniform code that this would have been an obvious violation of? It’d be nice to know the exact reasoning for the decision.

    • witchrunner - Aug 15, 2014 at 5:57 PM

      I think that there’s a requirement that you have to “wearing” a number that is visible. I know that’s the rule in a lot of road races. Obviously, he should know the rules, whatever they are. I agree that this is poor reporting. Seriously! No explanation as to exactly what the violation was?

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