Morocco's Steeplechaser Boulami Tests positive for EPO, Claims Innocence
Morocco, Sports, 8/30/2002
Moroccan Steeplechase world champion Brahim Boulami tested positive for the banned endurance-enhancer EPO, the governing body of world athletics announced Thursday in a note sent to the Moroccan royal athletics federation (FRMA).
The federation said Boulami expressed amazement at the news and said that he new nothing about the origin of the banned substance found in the A sample and that he was ready for a B sample test.
In a statement to MAP, Boulami, 30, denied categorically having taken any banned substance, describing the accusation as unfounded and insisting he was considered innocent until a B sample confirmed the initial finding.
"It was a terrible shock for me, especially because I am wrongfully accused," he told MAP.
The world steeplechase record holder said he underwent last year blood and urine tests by the World Anti-Doping Agency (AMA), in Melbourne after the Brisbane Grand Prix, at the "Good Will Games," at Sydney Olympic Games and several athletics meets, this in addition to unexpected tests, which were all negative, Boulami said.
I never took, nor will ever take any banned substance, the middle distance runner insisted
IAAF secretary general Istvan Gyulai confirmed this Thursday in a statement to the German sports news agency SID that the Moroccan athlete failed his doping test.
The IAAF said Boulami's blood and urine were tested for EPO on the eve of the Golden League event at the Weltklasse meeting in Zurich two weeks ago when he shaved over two seconds off his world steeplechase record, setting a new mark of 7 minutes, 53.17 seconds.
Boulami was one of the top names entered in Friday's Van Damme meet, planning a new attack on his world record. After his record run in Zurich, Boulami complained pacemakers had held him back and insisted he could break the record again at the Golden League event in Brussels. He set a world record mark at the Van Damme last year.
Instead, the runner immediately pulled off the meet.
"We are still under the shock," said Van Damme organizer Wilfried Meert, who had built much of his meet around Boulami's record attempt.
Boulami had also been scheduled to run at the World Cup in Madrid next month. (MAP)IS/
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