Steeplechase legend Ezekiel Kemboi has lost the bronze medal he won at the Rio Olympics after he was disqualified from the event for line infringement.
The Kenyan, who won the title at the 2004 Athens and 2012 London Games, finished third behind his compatriot Conseslus Kipruto and American Evan Jager in Wednesday’s 3000m steeplechase final.
However, Frenchman Mahiedine Mekhissi lodged an official complaint after the race as he believed Kemboi stepped off the track on the fourth lap.
“When one makes the road less, this is not the (3,000-meter steeplechase),” Mekhissi, who crossed the finishing line in fourth place, said.
Even though Kemboi finished more than three seconds ahead of Mekhissi, the IAAF ruled in favour of the Frenchman.
“A protest was presented by the French team after the 3000m steeplechase men final against Kenyan athlete Ezekiel Kemboi… claiming he had stepped off the track,” said an IAAF statement.
It added that an appeal jury “met and examined the video of the race, confirming that Kemboi, after clearing a water jump, had stepped outside the track on the curved part before the home straight”.
Although Kenya Athletics team manager Joseph Kiget has filed an appeal, Mekhissi has been moved from fourth into third following Kemboi’s disqualification.