Asian Games gold medalist runner banned 4 years for doping

MONACO (AP) — Bahraini distance runner Hassan Chani has been banned for four years for doping and stripped of his 2018 Asian Games gold medal, the Athletics Integrity Unit said Thursday.

Changes in Chani’s blood values in his biological passport led to the charge, the AIU said.

Chani was disqualified from all of his races since August 2017, including his 10,000-meter title at the last Asian Games and 10,000 silver medal at the 2019 Asian championships. He also was disqualified from the marathon at the 2017 world championships in London and the 10,000 at the 2019 worlds in Doha, Qatar.

Chani’s ban runs to March 2024, when he will be 35 years old.

The Morocco-born Chani is the latest medalist implicated in doping violations after changing nationality to represent Bahrain at major events.

The current women’s 400-meter world champion, Nigeria-born Salwa Eid Naser, is under investigation by the AIU for missing multiple doping controls. She risks losing the title she won last October in Doha.

Bahrain took two medals at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and both were won by Kenya-born female runners who have since been banned for testing positive for EPO.

Ruth Jebet won the steeplechase gold and Eunice Kirwa took silver in the marathon.

In 2008, Morocco-born Rashid Ramzi won the men’s 1,500 meters for Bahrain at the Beijing Olympics. He was stripped of the title when a new type of EPO was found in re-tests of samples months later.

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