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Dublin: 8 °C Wednesday 29 January, 2020
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Dublin Marathon winner who served doping ban 'slipped through the net'

Morocco’s Othmane El Goumri broke the course record with a time of 2:08:06 yesterday.

Othmane El Goumri crossing the finish line yesterday.
Othmane El Goumri crossing the finish line yesterday.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

ORGANISERS OF THE Dublin Marathon said the winner of yesterday’s race “slipped through the net” after his entry was accepted following a two-year doping suspension.

Morocco’s Othmane El Goumri, who broke the course record with a time of 2:08:06, received a two-year ban from the International Association of Athletics Federations in 2016 for a doping violation.

When asked why El Goumri was allowed to compete in the marathon, organisers said they “have a policy in place not to invite athletes who have previously served bans”, but that his history was not picked up on until it was too late. 

“The Dublin Marathon work with accredited athlete agents to secure the elite international field.

“The organisers only became aware that Othmane El Goumri had served a ban (as a result of irregularities in his biological passport) after the invitation to the race was issued and his visa was processed and the flight was booked,” organisers said in a statement.

They noted that El Goumri has served his ban and is “eligible to compete in any race”, adding: “The decision was made to allow him to compete.”

Race organisers said they will “employ more vigorous checks going forward”.

Jim Aughney, race director, added: “He slipped through the net with regards to us accepting his entry in the first place, but it will be part of the contracts from now on, for any athlete.”

Belfast runner Stephen Scullion finished second yesterday with a time of 2:12:01, while Ethiopian Mengistu Zelalem finished third with a time of 2:12:05.

Ethiopian Motu Gedefa took home the women’s title with a time of 2:27:48, followed in second by her compatriot Mesera Dubiso (2:28:29) and in third by fellow Ethiopian Denbeli Chefo Shuke (2:29:51).

Youghal’s Aoife Cooke was the highest finishing Irish woman, finishing eighth with a time of 2:32:34.

Ireland’s Patrick Monaghan won the wheelchair race with a time of 1:39:46. More than 22,000 runners took part in the race, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

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Órla Ryan

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