RIO DE JANEIRO — Hours after he claimed bronze in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase, Kenya’s Ezekiel Kemboi was disqualified after Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad of France filed a formal complaint.
Kemboi’s disqualification moves Mekhissi-Benabbad from fourth to bronze.
Mekhissi-Benabbad’s filed a post-race appeal claiming that Kemboi committed a lane violation. It was upheld by the International Association of Athletics Federation, the sport’s governing body, which cited Kemboi for an “infringement of the inside border.”
After the race, a disappointed Mekhissi-Benabbad said that Kemboi cut a turn short
“When one makes the road less, this is not the (3,000-meter steeplechase),” he said.
The rules are the rules, he added.
While the IAAF found that Kemboi had committed a violation, it is unclear what impact — if any — it had on the final times. Kemboi finished with a time of 8:08.47, more than three seconds faster than Mekhissi-Benabbad’s fourth-place time.
Another Kenyan, Conseslus Kipruto, (8:03.28) set an Olympic Record in taking gold. The USA’s Evan Jager won silver, becoming the first American male to medal in the event since the 1984 Los Angeles Games.