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Olympic 1500m champion Ramzi tests positive for doping
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Men's 1500m Olympic champion Rashid Ramzi has tested positive for a new form of banned blood booster EPO named MIRCERA, the Bahraini National Olympic Committee said on Wednesday.

Rashid Ramzi [File photo]

Rashid Ramzi [File photo] 

Sheikh Ahmed bin Hamad al-Khalifa, a member of Bahrain's NOC, said they had been informed by the International Olympic Committee that "the February 19, 2009 result of the test done on their athlete, Rashid Ramzi, winner of Olympic 1500m gold, was positive for MIRCERA".

The Morocco-born Ramzi won the Gulf country's first ever Olympic medal last year in Beijing when he stormed to victory in the 1500m in 3min 32.94sec.

If he is stripped of the victory, Asbel Kipruto Kiprop of Kenya stands to be upgraded from silver to gold.

Ramzi will arrive to witness the opening of the B test, likely to be on May 8, in France, Sheikh Ahmed said.

"We will cooperate fully with the IOC on the subject and if the second test is positive we'll decide what to do then," he said.

"Ramzi underwent eight tests before and during the Olympic Games, and all results were negative."

On Tuesday, the International Olympic Committee said six athletes tested positive for CERA, an advanced version of the blood-boosting drug EPO.

The Italian Olympic Committee confirmed Wednesday that Olympic cycling silver medalist Davide Rebellin was one of the others to test positive for CERA.

(Xinhua News Agency April 30, 2009)

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