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Runner Brahim Boulami Tests Positive for EPO - 2002-08-29

Moroccan world record holder Brahim Boulami has tested positive for the banned endurance-boosting drug EPO and faces a lengthy ban from competition.

Boulami tested positive just before breaking the world record in the 3,000 meters steeplechase this month at the Weltklasse Golden League meet in Zurich, Switzerland.

Boulami shaved nearly two seconds off his record, finishing in 7:53.17. He has denied taking any drugs and says he wants his "B" samples tested to confirm the presence of the drug.

The Moroccan was one of the top names entered in this week's Van Damme Memorial athletics meet in Brussels, Belgium. He has voluntarily withdrawn from the meet.

Earlier this month, the International Association of Athletics Federations banned Morocco's world cross-country champion Mohammed Mourhit for three years after he failed a drug test for EPO. The drug boosts an athlete's endurance by increasing the production of oxygen-carrying red blood cells.