French 1500m runner Essarokh fails drugs test

14th August 2006, Comments 0 comments

GOTHENBURG, Sweden, Aug 12, 2006 (AFP) - Suspended French 1500m runner Latifa Essarokh failed a drugs test in an athletics meet last month, the French athletics federation announced here Saturday.

GOTHENBURG, Sweden, Aug 12, 2006 (AFP) -  Suspended French 1500m runner Latifa Essarokh failed a drugs test in an athletics meet last month, the French athletics federation announced here Saturday.

The federation had suspended Essarokh from competition on Monday, citing medical opinion that she was not fit to run in the ongoing European championships.

The decision came just two weeks after the 32-year-old set a new French record for the 1500m at the Stockholm Grand Prix.

On Friday, athletics' governing body the IAAF notified the French federation that Essarokh had in fact tested positive during a doping test at that Stockholm meet.

"There will be no other communication on the issue now a disciplinary procedure has been launched," the federation said.

The federation did not specify for what Essarokh had tested positive, but sources said it was stanozolol, a synthetic anabolic steroid derived from testosterone - the same drug that saw Canadian Ben Johnson stripped of his 100m gold in the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

The Moroccon-born Essarokh risks a two-year ban if her first sample is confirmed as being tainted.

In a statement issued Monday, the federation said: "The doctor in charge of the medical well-being of high-level (French) athletes has just delivered a medical certificate indicating she is not fit for competition."

Essarokh was suspended from all competition until the lifting of the medical ruling, the federation added.

She did not take the plane with the rest of the French team to Gothenburg last Sunday, the federation putting her absence down to "family reasons".

Essarokh, contacted by telephone, said she had an ankle problem that the team doctor deemed needed up to two weeks out of competition.

"I injured myself on a training run," she told AFP. "I put my foot in a hole I didn't see."

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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