Othmane El Goumri, the winner of the Dublin Marathon, ‘slipped through the net’ according to organisers of the race after he was allowed to participate following a two-year doping ban.
El Goumri, who is from Morocco, received a two-year ban from the International Association of Athletics Federations in 2016 for a doping violation.
The Moroccan set a course record in yesterday’s race, completing the marathon in a time of 2:08:06.
The organisers of the Dublin marathon “have a policy in place not to invite athletes who have previously served bans” but said that they did not realise this 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,” the marathon organisers said.
As the Dublin Marathon is won by Othmane El Goumri, attention turns to his two-year ban in 2016 for irregularities in his biological passport.
The Irish Examiner's @Cathal_Dennehy spoke to our Saturday Panel.
— Off The Ball (@offtheball) October 27, 2019
While El Goumri has served the time required from the doping ban the organisers said that they would employ more vigorous checks for who is competing in the future.
Speaking to The Irish Times Jim Aughney, the director for Sunday's race, said, “Yes, we slipped up, and it won’t happen again.”
“We take all our athletes from accredited agents. Unfortunately, when we found out about our winner today [his doping past], he’d flights booked, we’d accepted his entry."
Outside of El Goumri’s record-breaking time, Belfast man Stephen Scullion ran his fastest race ever, at a time of 2:12:01.
This also was the fastest race run by an Irishman in 17 years, putting him in a great position to qualify for next year’s summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Ethiopian runner Motu Gedefa was the best of the women, finishing with a time of 2:27:48.
Aoife Cooke from Youghal was the fastest Irishwoman, finishing eighth with a time of 2:32:34.