MANAMA (AFP) – Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi has been stripped of his Beijing Olympic 1500 metres gold medal for doping, the secretary-general of Bahrain’s Olympic Committee told AFP on Wednesday.
“The Bahraini Olympic Committee has received a letter from the disciplinary committee of the International Olympic Committee announcing the decision to strip runner Rashid Ramzi of his gold medal for the 1500 metres,” Sheikh Ahmad bin Hamad said.
“The International Olympic Committee has requested that the gold medal be returned as soon as possible.”
Moroccan-born Ramzi won the Gulf country’s first ever Olympic gold when he stormed to victory in the prestigious 1500m in the Beijing Games last year.
He was one of five Beijing competitors who were later caught out when samples were re-tested in February and found to contain a new form of the banned blood booster EPO-CERA.
Ramzi, who gained Bahraini citizenship in 2002 after joining the country’s armed forces a year earlier, shot to fame when he won the 800m and 1500m double at the 2005 World Athletics Championships in Helsinki, becoming the first man to do so at a global event since New Zealander Peter Snell in 1964.