Olympic race winner is disqualified

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The Independent Online
THE MEN'S 10,000 metres at the Olympic Games in Barcelona ended in controversy last night when the winner, Khalid Skah, was disqualified for receiving illegal assistance from another Moroccan runner. The gold medal was awarded instead to the runner-up, Richard Chelimo of Kenya, although an appeal by Skah will be heard this morning.

Skah and Chelimo lapped Hammou Boutayeb, Skah's countryman, three circuits from the finish. Boutayeb appeared to talk to Skah before accelerating and running in front of Chelimo, who claimed after the race: 'He tried to slow me down.'

As the three runners stayed together, the crowd howled in fury. At one point an official ran on to the track and attempted to pull Boutayeb away. Skah went on to beat Chelimo in the finishing straight, but after a victory lap during which he was loudly booed, Skah was disqualified. Athletics rules forbid competitors to receive assistance from a lapped runner.

Skah said the race jury had been pressured by the public protest into disqualifying him. He denied that there had been collusion between himself and Boutayeb. 'I did not cheat,' he said. 'I could not talk to Boutayeb. I was too tired.'

Colin Jackson, who had been one of the favourites to win the 110m hurdles, could finish only seventh in the final, three places behind another Briton, Tony Jarrett.

Olympic reports, pages 26-28

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