Athletics: Ramzi tests positive
World and Olympic 1,500m champion Rashid Ramzi is one of six athletes to have tested positive for drugs at last year's Beijing Games.
Last Updated: 29/04/09 2:13pm
World and Olympic 1,500m champion Rashid Ramzi is one of six new athletes to have tested positive for drugs at last year's Beijing Games.
Ramzi, who burst to prominence by clinching the 800m and 1,500m double at the World Championships in Helsinki in 2005, is originally from Morocco but runs for Bahrain after moving to the Gulf state to join the armed forces in 2002.
His win at the Bird's Nest in Beijing last August gave Bahrain its first ever Olympic track and field gold medal with victory in 3 minutes, 32.94 seconds.
However, the Bahrain Olympic Committee said Ramzi's 'A' sample was opened on February 19 and tested positive for CERA, an advanced version of the blood-boosting drug EPO.
The committee said Ramzi's backup 'B' sample will be tested in France on June 8 and that he will face an IOC hearing the same day.
"We have informed Rashid Ramzi that the test was positive, and we are going to meet him in a few days," Sheikh Ahmed bin Hamad al-Khalifa of the Bahrain Olympic Committee said.
"We are sorry to hear this news. The NOC of Bahrain can confirm its support to the athlete, who has the full right to open the B test and the right to be listened to, to defend himself.
"We will cooperate fully with the IOC on the subject and if the second test is positive we'll decide what to do then.
"Ramzi underwent eight tests before and during the Olympic Games, and all results were negative."
The latest round of testing began earlier this year, resulting in the six new positive samples which also include cyclists Davide Rebellin and Stefan Schumacher.
Four athletes who tested positive during the Beijing Games have already been stripped of their medals - Ukraine's heptathlon silver medallist Lyudmila Blonska, Belarussians Vadim Devyatovsky and Ivan Tikhan, who had finished second and third in the men's hammer and Greece's Fani Halkia.