Dopping athletes await fate

COPENHAGEN - Five athletes who tested positive for doping after blood sample retests from the 2008 Beijing Olympics will learn their fate in December.

COPENHAGEN - Five athletes who tested positive for doping after blood sample retests from the 2008 Beijing Olympics will learn their fate in December.

The International Olympic Committee said yesterday that Bahrain's Olympic 1500m gold medallist Rashid Ramzi, who could have his medal stripped, and four other athletes tested positive for the blood booster CERA.

All first-time doping offenders could face a two-year suspension while second-time offenders face a lifetime ban.

"A decision will be taken in December (at the IOC executive board)," said senior IOC member Gerhard Heiberg.

He said the executive board would deal with the issue during a December meeting in Lausanne.

The positive results came in April after the IOC retested samples from 948 athletes, focusing mainly on endurance events in cycling, rowing, swimming and athletics.

Italy's road race silver medallist Davide Rebellin and German Stefan Schumacher, already banned for doping, were also confirmed positive, as were Greece's 2004 Athens Games 20km walk champion Athanasia Tsoumeleka and Croatia's 800m runner Vanja Perisic.

Weightlifter Yudelquis Contreras initially tested positive but she was cleared after her B sample came back negative. - Reuters

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