400-Meter Hurdler Ghfran Almouhamad Tests Positive for Doping

Scott Carasik@ScottCarasikContributor IIAugust 11, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 05:  Ghfran Almouhamad of Syrian Arab Republic sits after competing in the Women's 400m Hurdles Round 1 Heats on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 5, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The International Olympic Committee has caught Syria's 400-meter hurdler Ghfran Almouhamad doping. According to the IOC's official site, she was caught with methylhexaneamine in her system:

Almouhamad, 23, provided a urine sample on 3 August 2012 in London that indicated the presence of methylhexaneamine. The analysis of the B sample confirmed the results of the A sample.

Methylhexaneamine is a known performance-enhancing drug that has been banned by multiple agencies, including the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA). The International Weightlifting Federation has also banned it, saying that it is widespread throughout multiple products (h/t IWF.net):

The IWF is advising all athletes to carefully consider their use of supplements and products. Methylhexaneamine is increasingly being found in nutritional supplements, typically those that are designed to increase energy or aid weight loss.

It's unfortunate that doping is still part of the Olympics. However, it is, and she got caught. She represented her country poorly not just as a hurdler, finishing eighth with a time of 58.09 seconds, but as an Olympian by having to cheat to get into last place.

The 400-meter hurdles event was won by Russia's Natalya Antyukh with a time of 52.70 seconds.  

Almouhamad could have been fighting an injury, as she had her left thigh wrapped the entire time. However, there is no reason to take any sort of supplement that is on a banned list.

Almouhamad may not have any more ramifications after this, as she was barely able to qualify for the Olympics to begin with. However, it wouldn't be shocking to see her receive a multiple-year ban because of the scale that this drug test was on. But given that she was a fringe qualifier, it seems irrelevant.

It's an absolute shame that some athletes want nothing more than to win a medal and that they have to take steroids in their attempt to do so. The Olympics are about representing your country, not trying to win a gold medal or trying to get on the podium.

 

Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist and Trends and Traffic Writer for Bleacher Report. As a Featured Columnist, he covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL Draft. He is also the Falcons analyst at Drafttek, runs the NFL Draft Website ScarDraft.com and hosts Kvetching Draftniks Radio.

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