Bahrain’s Asiad medallist suspended provisionally for doping violation


Bahrain marathon runner El Hassan El Abbassi, the Asian Games 10,000m gold medallist from Incheon, South Korea in 2014, has been provisionally suspended following an adverse analytical finding for homologous blood transfusion — collecting and infusing blood from a compatible donor.

The 37-year-old El Abbassi’s sample was collected after the Tokyo Olympics marathon by the International Testing Authority. El Abbassi had finished 25th in the marathon won by Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge. The 37-year-old El Abbassi had won a silver medal in the marathon in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), the independent body authorised to track and punish dope offenders in athletics, issued a notice and provisionally suspended El Abbassi on Thursday. He is the fifth sportsperson to be penalised for tests conducted during or just before the Tokyo Olympics.

Meanwhile, the AIU has suspended for three years Kuwait’s Yousef Karam, who won the gold medal in 400m at the 2019 Asian Championships, for allegedly using a prohibited performance-enhancing substance.

The AIU said that tests on Karam’s urine sample have shown the presence/use of a prohibited substance, Ibutamoren — a substance that leads to increased secretion of several hormones including the growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF) in the body.

Karam has thus been found to have violated Article 2.1 and Article 2.2 and his suspension will start from March 30, 2020. His results from January 28, 2021, have also been disqualified.

The AIU has also suspended for three years Kenyan marathon runner Rachael Mutgaa for testing positive for the presence or use of the prohibited substance Testosterone. Her suspension starts on August 3, 2021.