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TOKYO – Bahrain’s middle-distance runner Sadik Mikhou has been provisionally suspended for receiving a blood transfusion during the Tokyo Olympic Games, the International Testing Agency (ITA) said on Sunday (8).

The 31-year-old provided a sample the day before he raced in the heats of the men’s 1500m on Tuesday, which the ITA revealed has returned an “adverse analytical finding for homologous blood transfusion.”

“The sample was collected by the ITA under the Testing Authority of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) during an out-of-competition anti-doping control on 2 August 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. The result was reported by the WADA-accredited laboratory of Tokyo on 6 August 2021,” the ITA said in a statement on its website.

“The athlete, who participated in the heats of the Men’s 1500m Round 1 of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on 3 August 2021 without qualifying for the semi-finals, has been provisionally suspended until the resolution of the matter in line with the World Anti-Doping Code and the IOC Anti-Doping Rules.

“The athlete has the right to challenge the imposition of the provisional suspension before the Court of Arbitration for Sport – Anti-Doping Division.”

The International Testing Agency also revealed that Mikhou has the right to request the testing of a ‘B’ sample.

“The athlete also has the right to request the analysis of the B-sample,” the statement continued.

“Given that the case is underway, there will be no further comments during the ongoing proceeding.”

Mikhou failed to advance from his heat of the 1500m last week after he finished eighth in a time of 3:42.87.

The Bahrain runner is now the third athlete to fail a doping test at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

His news followed that of Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare and Kenyan 100m runner Mark Otieno Odhiambo were both previously suspended for drug violations.

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