Video: A French Olympic runner found an unusual way of celebrating after winning the 3,000 meters steeplechase race in the European athletics championships in Helsinki this weekend.

"/> Video: A French Olympic runner found an unusual way of celebrating after winning the 3,000 meters steeplechase race in the European athletics championships in Helsinki this weekend.

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OLYMPIC

French runner attacks 14-year-old mascot girl

Video: A French Olympic runner found an unusual way of celebrating after winning the 3,000 meters steeplechase race in the European athletics championships in Helsinki this weekend.

French runner attacks 14-year-old mascot girl

Defending champion, Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad, 27, walked over to a mascot after the race, hit something out of its hand and then pushed it violently.

Inside the mascot there was thought to be a 14-year-old girl.

But this is not the first time the runner has shown violence towards mascots – in 2010 after the same race in the same Championships in Barcelona, he asked a mascot to kneel infront of him before pushing it to the ground.

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SPORT

French government: All athletes must be vaccinated to compete in France

All athletes and sports professionals who wish to compete in France will have to be vaccinated against Covid-19, government sources told AFP on Monday.

Unvaccinated tennis star Novak Djokovic
Unvaccinated tennis star Novak Djokovic. Photo: Oscar del Polzo/AFP

The French parliament has just given the go-ahead for the health pass to be converted into a vaccine pass, which means that anyone wishing to enter leisure and cultural venues – including sports grounds and stadiums – will have to be vaccinated.

This goes for the crowd, but also professional sports players and staff. The government has indicated that exemptions will not be made athletes who are based outside France.

The ministry said a new vaccine pass, “applies to everyone, to volunteers and to elite sportspeople, including those coming from abroad, until further notice.”

READ ALSO What changes when France’s health pass becomes a vaccine pass

Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu said last week that certain events like the French Open could have a special exemption, when asked whether Novak Djokovic could play in the tournament, but this appears now to not be the case.

Questions had been asked about whether the unvaccinated Djokivic – recently deported from Australia – would be able to play in the French Open in May, but the ruling would affect all visiting sports professionals, including rugby teams from England, Ireland and Italy who are due to play in France during the Six Nations tournament in February and March.

Until now a health pass has been sufficient to enter sports grounds, which means unvaccinated players and fans were able to use a negative Covid test.

However once the vaccine pass enters into effect – scheduled to be later this week – only proof of vaccination will be affected.

French domestic sports teams were given the choice of either making sure that all their players and staff were fully vaccinated or playing behind closed doors.

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