Watch: French runners brawl during track meet

The French athletics federation provisionally suspended middle-distance runners Mehdi Baala and Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad on Saturday after they traded punches during a Diamond League meeting.

(CBS/AP) Squabbling teammates are nothing new in sports. Who could forget Giants stars Barry Bonds and Jeff Kent going at it in the dugout in 2006? Then, of course, there was Michael Westbrook issuing a beatdown to Stephen Davis during Redskins training camp in 1997.

But the quaint world of track and field? Sure, we're accustomed to the doping scandals and mid-race collisions - but not fisticuffs.

That changed in Monaco on Friday when two French middle-distance runners traded punches during a Diamond League meeting.

Mehdi Baala and Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad, who apparently already have a testy relationship, came to blows at the end of the 1,500-meter event.

Baala head-butted Mekhissi-Benabbad, who responded by throwing several haymakers (which mostly missed). They were then separated but continued to exchange insults.

The French athletics federation promptly suspended the athletes for their "unspeakable behavior."

An official claimed the fight stemmed from a "misunderstanding" but maybe they were both just sore losers. Baala finished ninth in the race while Mekhissi-Benabbad was 11th.

  • Stephen Smith

    Stephen Smith is a senior editor for