An Algerian distance runner has been tossed from the Olympics for 'not trying' in his qualifying heat for the 800 meter event.

Taoufik Makhloufi was removed by the IAAF (International Association of Athletic Federations) after they believed he gave up in his 800 meter event.  The governing body of track and field worldwide accused him of tanking on purpose.   Makhloufi had already won his 1,500 meter heat in a stunning time, making him a favorite for the final.

  However, he was forced to run his heat in the 800 meters, because his country had failed to withdraw him in time from the event, missing the deadline for scratching an athlete from the 800.    Apparently he did not want to compete in that race, and focus on the 1,500.  At the start, he began well back of the field, and just over 100 meters into the semi,  he wandered off the track and onto the infield into the pole vault area.

  Because he showed no apparent signs of injury, and because it was apparently known he didn't want to run the 800,  he was booted by the IAAF.    Should he be able to provide a certified medical certificate showing he had a problem and could not finish the 800 race,  he could be re-instated in time to run the 1,500.     The Olympics, already embarrased by the deliberate throwing of matches by four women's badminton teams (and their subsuequent expulsion) is being extra-observant of the efforts of athletes during the rest of the games.

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