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Othmane El Goumri: Dublin marathon winner banned for doping violations in 2016

The Dublin marathon is an event where casual and hardcore athletics fans can celebrate the elite ...



Other Sports

Othmane El Goumri: Dublin marathon winner banned for doping violations in 2016

The Dublin marathon is an event where casual and hardcore athletics fans can celebrate the elite athletes and those doing it for their personal causes.

The winner of this year's Dublin men's marathon - Moroccan athlete Othmane el Goumri - was banned in 2016 for two years for irregularities in his biological passport.

Othmane El Goumri

El Goumri succeeded on the streets of Dublin today and, while there are no indications that there were any improprieties that led to today's win, our Saturday Panel debated the pros and cons of those who have been banned for doping violations taking part in a high-profile marathon.

The Irish Examiner's Cathal Dennehy joined us to discuss the situation on the Saturday Panel, and gave his opinion on the El Goumri case.

"As great as a celebration as this will be tomorrow, doping in athletics never is far from the subject matter," said Dennehy prior to today's marathon.

"The guy who might win the men's race tomorrow is a doper. Othmane El Goumri was banned from 2016 to 2018 for violations in his bio-passport.

"He came back this year, delightfully, and ran a 2h08m marathon in Morocco. If you were to pick a favourite for tomorrow's race, it would be him.

"That may be a subject that rears its head on what will otherwise be a great day of celebration."

As for Irish athletes' knowledge of El Goumri's background, Dennehy believes that Ireland's competitors may well be in the dark about El Goumri's past situation.

"I would say a lot of it don't even know [the background.]

"He was not an A-list marathon runner; Dublin does not have the same budget as the London or New York marathons. It cannot bring in the A-list marathon runners from the top end of the field.

"If you get your Kenyans and Ethiopians, they are B or C-list. They are either on their way up in their career, they never quite made it, or they are on their way down.

"I think a lot of them won't know about this Moroccan guy, but certainly the attitudes among the Irish elites are quite intolerant of doping.

"I can't imagine that if you asked any of them that they would be too pleased about this guy being invited to the Dublin marathon."

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