Egypt’s World Championships javelin throw silver medallist and major Rio Olympics medal hopeful, Ihab Abdelrahman, has failed a doping test, the Egyptian National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO) announced on Sunday.
Abdelrahman, who became Egypt’s first-ever World Athletics Championships medallist when he took silver in Beijing last year, has been provisionally suspended after his ‘A’ sample, taken at his home in Sharqia, Egypt on April 17, 2016, tested positive for testosterone.
The test was done by the Egyptian NADO – a government-funded organisation responsible for testing national athletes in and out-of-competition, as well as athletes from other countries competing within that nation’s borders.
Ihab Abdelrahman 86.00 wins Javelin Throw Men - Stockholm Diamond League 2016— Track N Field Junkie (@TnFjunkie) June 17, 2016
1 Abdelrahman , Ihab... https://t.co/Y8VejMTLcE
A ‘B’ sample has been sent to a lab in Barcelona and should it confirm the positive result, Abdelrahman will be suspended and will miss the Rio Games. Should the Barcelona lab find his ‘B’ sample negative, his provisional suspension will be lifted and the Egyptian will be allowed to compete in Brazil.
Abdelrahman, 27, has been in fine form this season, winning javelin gold at the Diamond League stops in Eugene in May and Stockholm last month, and was considered one of Egypt’s strongest medal prospects in Rio next month.
Walid Ata, the president of the Egyptian Athletics Federation, hit out at the Egyptian National Olympic Committee (NOC), accusing them of retaliating against Abdelrahman, who had publicly criticised them on his Facebook page last week for hiring a “problematic” chef de mission for the athletics squad heading to Rio.
“The world-class Ihab Abdelrahman, who has made Egyptian, Arab, African, and international history is CLEAN and is above any kind of suspicion,” Ata wrote.
“He has been tested, in and out of competition, more than 60 times and he never goes more than a month without getting blood-tested. Yet when he gets tested here, in Egypt, his test comes positive?
After digging into this Ihab Abdelrahman situation... pic.twitter.com/NLDwrn134w— Reem Abulleil (@ReemAbulleil) July 24, 2016
“You people are not getting your revenge against Walid Ata or Ihab Abdelrahman or the athletics family, but your malevolence, hate and envy has led to you to get your revenge against Egypt, and you assassinated the happiness of the people of an entire country that was only a few days away from happening.”
Egypt’s weightlifting champion Mohamed Ehab echoed Ata’s words, also blaming foul play on the NOC’s behalf, and alleging that he was on the receiving end of the same treatment four years ago ahead of London 2012.