Runner stripped of gold in 10,000 Moroccan receives help from teammate


BARCELONA, Spain -- The duel was dramatic. The outcome, improbable.

Before a whistling crowd that showered the track with paper cups and greeted the winner with thousands of thumbs pointed down, Morocco's Kahlid Skah out-sprinted Richard Chelimo of Kenya to finish first in the men's 10,000-meter final.

And then, Skah lost, disqualified by a race jury that ruled he had received aid from a lapped runner, fellow Moroccan Hammou Boutayeb.

The stunning decision, the first disqualification of that kind in 84 years, left Chelimo with the gold and the Moroccans filing an appeal that will be heard today.

"Skah may have won anyway, but what happened, everybody saw," Chelimo said. "It was unfair."

Skah denied he had talked tactics with Boutayeb. But Chelimo said the two communicated during the race and claimed Skah stepped on him.

Until that point, the race had been riveting. Skah and Chelimo had broken away from the pack at 5,600 meters and dueled alone ever since. The crowd was clapping and chanting, urging the leaders on, and they responded by trading the lead four times in the next 12 laps.

Then they arrived on Boutayeb, who had fallen a lap behind.

Chelimo said he told Boutayeb to get out of the way during the final laps of the race.

"At the end of the race I went up to him and I said, 'Boutayeb, this is not good. What you did is not good,' " Chelimo said.

Later, still in his running uniform, Skah was shouting to reporters in a parking lot.

"He has taken away a year of training," Skah said of Boutayeb. "Why punish me for something he did? How can this be?"

It was the second time during the evening that an athlete who crossed the finish line first was disqualified.

Alina Ivanova of the Unified Team won the women's 10-kilometer walk, but was disqualified for running. The gold went to China's Chen Yueling.

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