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Boulami banned after IAAF's appeal

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LONDON, England -- Morocco's 3,000m steeplechase world record holder Brahim Boulami has been banned for two years after testing positive for erythropoietin (EPO), the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said.

The 31-year-old smashed his own world best of seven minutes 55.28 seconds when he clocked an astonishing 7:53.17 on August 16 in Zurich last year.

But Boulami's tests taken the previous day showed traces of the banned stamina-boosting substance EPO.

His Zurich world record is awaiting ratification, according to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) website.

The Moroccan Athletics Federation decided in February not to sanction Boulami because of doubts over the testing methods, CAS said on Wednesday in a statement.

The IAAF, however, filed an appeal with CAS on April 11 2003 to ask that the athlete receive a two-year ban in accordance with the world governing body's anti-doping rules.

A three-man CAS panel sat for two days in October to hear the case.

"The tribunal has come to the conclusion that the prohibited substance EPO was present in Brahim Boulami's urine," the Lausanne-based CAS said in a statement on Wednesday.

"It has also found that the urine test performed by the laboratory in charge of the analyses was reliable and valid.."

CAS said Boulami's two-year ban would be backdated to start from August 28 2002.

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