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Friday, August 10, 2012
France sends Hassan Hirt home

Associated Press

LONDON -- French runner Hassan Hirt tested positive for the blood-booster EPO, an official with knowledge of the result told The Associated Press on Friday. The IOC said he was ordered to leave the Olympics.

Hirt was tested during training in France on Aug. 3, according to the official. He said Hirt had been targeted by the French anti-doping agency for several months. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the case.

Hirt was eliminated from the 5,000 meters on Wednesday when he finished 11th in a first-round heat. The 32-year-old Hirt was competing in his first Olympics.

International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams said Friday that Hirt had been sent home by the French team but could not give details of any doping offense.

Hirt is the second French runner to test positive for EPO in the buildup to the games. Steeplechase specialist Nordine Gezzar also failed a doping test in June. The 32-year-old Gezzar served a two-year suspension for doping in 2006. He faces a life ban for a second offense.