Video: French fella loses gold medal as he is disqualified for taking off his vest before the finish line
We really feel for Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad this morning...
The 3,000m steeplechase is one of the hardest events in athletics. On top of flying around the track at a very fast pace, you also have to clear massive hurdles and water jumps while other lads elbow you in the ribs. It is not a race for the faint hearted.
The European Championship final was on in Zurich last night and after a cracking run, France's Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad pulled clear going to the last hurdle. With the title in the bag, Mekhissi-Benabbad whipped off his vest to start celebrating, the very definition of sporting joy and exuberance.
However, that joy soon turned to despair. Initially just warned for his behaviour, a protest by Spain regarding the wearing of correct uniforms meant the winner was disqualified, moving a Spanish athlete into third. Another French athlete, Yoann Kowal, was awarded the gold.
Mekhissi-Benabbad has a chequered history, pushing over a mascot two years ago and fighting a team-mate on the track on another occasion but his previous antics shouldn't matter.
To our eyes, his celebration was great, spontaneous and superb to watch. Administrators seem determined to suck the fun out of sport and to see him stripped of his gold immediately, while many other serial offenders of much more serious matters retain gold medals is a bit sickening.
We're behind you Mekhissi-Benabbad...