Olympics

Ramzi may run for Bahrain after serving doping ban

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MANAMA, Bahrain (AP)

Disgraced Olympic 1,500-meter runner Rashid Ramzi has finished serving a two-year ban for doping and could run for Bahrain's national team again.

Saud al-Ghenaim, a member of the Bahrain Athletics Association, said Sunday that Ramzi is training in Morocco and will vie for a place at the world championships in Daegu, South Korea, from Aug. 27 to Sept. 4.

The Moroccan-born Ramzi tested positive in April 2008 in retroactive tests for CERA, an advanced version of the blood-boosting drug EPO, prompting the International Olympic Committee to strip him of the 1,500 gold medal he won at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Ramzi was banned in January 2010 with the Bahrain association backdating his ban to May 2009.

Ramzi will compete with three other runners for three spots on the team and could also run before the worlds, including the Asian Athletics Championships in July in Japan, Al-Ghenaim said.

Ramzi could not be reached for comment.

He was the only gold medalist from the 2008 Beijing Olympics caught using performance-enhancing drugs. He had given Bahrain its first Olympic track-and-field gold medal by winning the 1,500. Asbel Kipruto Kiprop of Kenya was upgraded from silver to gold.

Ramzi tested negative at the Beijing Games, but the IOC reanalyzed the samples when a fully validated test for CERA became available.

IOC rules make Ramzi ineligible for the 2012 London Olympics.

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