Controversy erupts over 'disgraceful' act in 400m final of Irish Indoor Athletics Championships

Drama has erupted at an indoor athletics meet in Ireland after a runner’s controversial act ended his rival’s race.

The stunning scenes unfolded when Olympian Thomas Barr was sent sprawling off the track by Andrew Mellon in the 400m final at the Irish Life National Indoor Championships.

Unlike the outdoor version of the race, runners aren’t required to stay in their lanes during the 400m indoor event.

That fact created chaos as both men approached the start/finish line and Barr veered into the path of his rival.

The controversial moment in the men’s 400m final. Pic: Athletics Ireland

Mellon reacted to the encroachment by elbowing his competitor out of way – knocking Barr off to the side of the track and out of contention.

Viewers slammed Mellon for the “disgraceful” act but the runner defended his actions on social media.

Dispute the incident ending any hopes Barr had in the race, the runner reacted to the disappointment in classy fashion.

In his own response on social media, Barr suggested that he was just as much in the wrong as Mellon.