Two Romanian runners dropped after testing positive for EPO

BUCHAREST, Romania -- Two middle-distance runners from Romania were dropped from their Olympic team after testing positive for the blood booster EPO.

Elena Antoci and Cristina Vasiloiu did not leave for the Beijing Games on Sunday with the rest of the team, the Romanian Olympic Committee said.

"Elena Antoci and Cristina Vasiloiu were dropped from the
Romanian Olympic delegation as both are under suspicion of
doping," committee head Octavian Morariu told reporters.

"Both stay at home."

Morariu said an initial test from a laboratory in Lausanne, Switzerland, showed EPO, and he is awaiting results of a second test.

"When we left for the Olympics I had the results for all the athletes, except these two," Morariu told Realitatea TV from Beijing. "If there is the tiniest doubt about them, they will not compete."

Antoci and Vasiloiu were to compete in the 1,500-meter race.

The developments in Romania came on the same day seven Russian female athletes were provisionally suspended by the IAAF for doping-related matters.

The Romanian National Institute for Sporting Medicine first tested Antoci and Vasiloiu on July 16, and asked for more tests, outside Romania.

Romanian middle-distance runner Liliana Popescu, who runs the 800 and 1,500, was dropped from the Olympic team in July after failing a doping test. No result of Popescu's second sample has been released so far.

Popescu, Antoci and Vasiloiu all work with trainer Eleodor Rosca.

Neither the runners nor Rosca has commented on the tests.

Information from Reuters and The Associated Press was used in this report.