8th June, 2012
Israeli marathon runner Zohar Zemir is set to miss the Olympic Games after it was revealed he failed a drugs test.
The 35-year-old became the first Israeli athlete to qualify for London when he ran the Amsterdam Marathon in 2:14:28 last April, however his hopes of representing Israel this summer could be over after a test on Monday resulted in a positive sample for Terbutaline, an illegal substance found in asthma inhalers.
The Anti-Doping Committee of Israel will receive the result of his B sample in the next few days, and should it also be found to be positive like his A sample, Zemiro is set to miss out on the Olympics.
Explaining that he’s suffered from asthma symptoms over the past few years and a small amount of Terbutaline may have entered his body without his knowledge following his use of an inhaler, he said: “I have always believed in fair and clean competition and I’m certain that the circumstances that have resulted in this result will not prevent me from representing Israel at the Olympics.”
Dr. Jacques Asharov, head of the Anti-Doping Committee of Israel, said: “This is still only a suspicion. We are still to receive the result of the B sample. If that will be negative, than the entire test will be declared as negative.”
The Israel Athletics Federation said: “We await the results of the second test before making any decision regarding the athlete.”