08/06/2012 01:02 pm ET Updated Aug 06, 2012

Taoufik Makhloufi Expelled From Olympics: Algerian Runner Kicked Out Of Games For Not Trying [UPDATED]

Another athlete has been thrown out of the London Olympics for not trying.

Taoufik Makhloufi, an Algerian runner expected to medal in the 1,500 meter race after finishing first in his semifinal heat, had also been scheduled to compete in the 800 meter race. While Makhloufi did participate in that race, it's hard to say that he competed. He stopped running less than halfway through.


Makhloufi has been reinstated following a statement from the London organizing committee. According to the statement, the athlete has obtained a doctor's certificate affirming a medical explanation for his failure to finish:

"After reviewing evidence provided by a Locog medical officer, the disqualification of athlete 1008 (Makhloufi) from further participation in the athletics competition of the 2012 Olympic Games has been revoked by the IAAF technical delegates. Consequently, Mr Makhloufi is able to compete."

A spokesman for the Algerian team told the Guardian Makhloufi had suffered a knee injury.


The Algerian team intended to pull him from the 800-meter race entirely but failed to do so by the deadline on Sunday, reports the Daily Mail.

Instead, the 24-year-old Makhloufi started with other competitors in the 800, then stopped running several hundred meters in and "wandered back across the infield," writes the Guardian. The paper notes he was well behind other athletes in the race when he stopped.

An IAAF statement, obtained by Reuters, reads: "The Referee considered that he had not provided a bona fide effort and decided to exclude him from participation in all further events in the competition."

The IAAF will allow Makhloufi to challenge his expulsion on medical grounds, leaving open the possibility he could return to compete if a doctor finds he risked injury by finishing the race.

Screenshots of the race on show Makhloufi veer out of an outside lane into the center, where he slows to a jog and stops running. He then had time to cheer on the other racers in his heat, standing on a corner of the infield, clapping.

It's uncertain why, exactly, the Algerian racer stopped running in the middle of the 800. Bleacher Report points out that the athlete previously earned golds in the event in past competitions. The site speculates Mackhloufi may actually be injured, or was attempting to save his legs for the 1,500.

If the expulsion holds, Makhloufi won't be the first athlete kicked out of the London Games for not trying. Last week, eight badminton players were kicked out for deliberately trying to lose, thereby securing an easier path through the competition.