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Moroccan runner Laalou barred from London Olympics

Friday - 8/3/2012, 6:43pm  ET

AP Sports Writer

LONDON (AP) - Moroccan runner Amine Laalou was barred from entering Britain a day before he was to compete at the Olympics, Morocco's sports minister said Friday.

Laalou, who has reportedly failed a doping test, had been scheduled to run in the 1,500-meter heats at the Olympic Stadium on Friday evening.

Moroccan sports minister Mohamed Ouzzine told The Associated Press that Laalou flew back to Morocco on Friday after being stopped from entering Britain a day earlier.

Ouzzine said he did not know all the details of the runner's reported case.

French sports daily L'Equipe reported on its website that a banned diuretic was found in a sample Laalou gave at the Monaco Diamond League meeting on July 20.

The substance was reportedly furosemide, which can be used to disguise the presence of other banned drugs.

The International Association of Athletics Federations declined to comment on the reports. The secretary general of Morocco's athletics body, Hammed Rhaziane, did not respond to several calls, and Moroccan Olympic committee spokesman Majd Chekroun could not be reached for comment.

Laalou is the second Moroccan 1,500-meter runner to be barred from the London Olympics. Mariem Alaoui Selsouli was expected to be a contender in the women's event until the IAAF suspended her last month after she tested positive for furosemide.

Selsouli was caught doping at the Paris Diamond League meeting on July 6, where she lowered her personal best time by more than four seconds.

The 28-year-old Selsouli, who served a previous two-year suspension for doping, faces a lifetime ban if a second offense is proven.


Associated Press writer Aziz El Yaakoubi in Rabat, Morocco, contributed to this report.

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