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Steeplechaser Loses Gold Medal For Taking Off His Shirt During Race

France's Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad was running in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the European Athletics Championships, clear ahead of the field, when he took off his shirt in the final stretch to celebrate. That topless jubilation cost him his gold medal.

At first, Mekhissi-Benabbad was only issued a yellow card after the race for his display of poor sportsmanship, but Spain, in a total tattletale move, made an official protest in regards to rules about clothing. Since Mekhissi-Benabbad took off his shirt, he was in clear violation of the rules, and forfeited the gold to French teammate Yoann Kowal. (With the forfeit, Spain earned bronze.)


Taking your shirt off before finishing a competition is one of the showboatiest moves, but the Frenchman's punishment is a tad excessive. If only Mekhissi-Benabbad knew he would lose the gold; he could've made a real statement by finishing the race completely naked.

[The Guardian]

H/t to Ray

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