French runner Mahiedine Mekhissi Benabbad recently won the 3,000-meter race at the European Championships, and when he crossed the finish line he seemed less than happy. Instead of celebrating, the 27-year old stalked up to a 14-year old girl in a mascot costume, swatted something from her hand that she appeared to be handing to him, and shoved her, hard, with both hands.
A spectator caught the entire thing on video, which is quickly going viral as backlash ensues and people demand that he is reprimanded. While it’s unclear why he was so agitated–or why he took it out on a teenaged girl–it’s a pretty clearcut example of bad sportsmanship.
According to The Age, this isn’t the first time Benabbad has exhibited strange and violent behavior toward a mascot:
“It was not the first time that Mekhissi-Benabbad had picked on a mascot. After winning the same race at the 2010 championships in Barcelona, he asked a mascot to kneel in front of him before he pushed it to the ground, according to Le 10 Sport.”
He was also suspended for 10 months in 2011 after getting into a fight with teammate Mehdi Baala at the finish line of the 1,500-meter race during the Monaco Diamond League games.