Athletics: Runner Mekhissi stripped of gold after stripping off his shirt

ZURICH (AFP) - France's Mahiedine Mekhissi was stripped of his 3,000m steeplechase gold medal at the European athletics championships on Thursday after peeling off his shirt before he crossed the line in first place.

His compatriot Yoann Kowal was promoted to the gold medal position, a result which stood after being examined by the competition's appeals jury.

The Spanish team had made the original protest over Mekhissi, who put his running vest in his mouth before waving it to the crowd, after a race in which their athlete Angel Mullera had finished fourth.

"I find that the protest lodged by the Spaniards is anti fair-play," said Ghani Yalouzsa, the technical director of the French athletics federation.

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