Rashid Ramzi of Bahrain stripped of Olympic 1,500-meter gold in doping retest

The Associated Press ~ staff The News
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LONDON - Rashid Ramzi of Bahrain has been stripped of his 1,500-metre Olympic gold medal for doping, officials with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Ramzi was one of five athletes from the 2008 Beijing Games who tested positive in April for CERA, an advanced version of the blood-boosting drug EPO, in new tests using retroactive blood samples.
On Tuesday, Italian cyclist Davide Rebellin was stripped of his silver medal in the Beijing road race for a positive CERA test.
The other athletes from Beijing who tested positive were German cyclist Stefan Schumacher, Croatian 800-meter runner Vanja Perisic, and Greek race walker Athanasia Tsoumeleka. They did not win medals.
An official announcement on all five athletes was expected later Wednesday from the International Olympic Committee.
Three officials with knowledge of the rulings said the 29-year-old Ramzi had been disqualified. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcements had not yet been made.
Two officials said Ramzi was expected to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The Moroccan-born Ramzi was the only gold medallist from Beijing caught using performance-enhancing drugs. He gave Bahrain its first Olympic track and field gold medal with victory in the 1,500.
He could also now face a two-year ban from the International Association of Athletics Federations. Under IOC rules, he also is banned from the 2012 London Olympics.
Asbel Kipruto Kiprop of Kenya stands to be upgraded from silver to gold in the 1,500. Nicolas Willis of New Zealand could go from bronze to silver, and fourth-place finisher Mehdi Baala of France would get the bronze.
The IOC previously disqualified nine athletes for doping at the Beijing Games. They included Ukrainian heptathlete Lyudmila Blonska who was stripped of her silver medal, and North Korean shooter Kim Jong Su, whose silver and bronze medals were revoked.
A sixth athlete was initially found positive in the retesting process, but women's weightlifter Yudelquis Contreras was cleared by the Dominican Olympic Committee after the "B" sample came back negative.

Organizations: Beijing Games, International Olympic Committee, The Associated Press International Association of Athletics Federations Dominican Olympic Committee

Geographic location: Bahrain, Beijing, LONDON Kenya New Zealand France

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