March 03, 2015

PARIS (AP) Qatari middle-distance runner Hamza Driouch is facing sanctions for a possible breach of his two-year doping ban after photos emerged of him training with Mo Farah.

The 20-year-old Driouch is suspended until Dec. 30, 2016, because of irregularities in his biological passport and should not take part in any training camp or practice under IAAF rules.

IAAF spokesman Nick Davies told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the sport's governing body is investigating the case.

Driouch, who will be ineligible for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, competed in the 1,500 meters at the 2012 London Games but failed to make the final. He won the event at the junior world championships in 2012.

Driouch posted pictures of him and Farah training on a track and hanging around at a camp in Ethiopia earlier this year on his Facebook page, with more images being published on social media.

Davies said the IAAF has seen the pictures and will take them into account as part of the investigation, which is unlikely to target Farah. Given that Farouch's ban was only made public last month after the training camp ended, the IAAF believes that the Olympic 5,000 and 10,000-meter champion was probably unaware of the former junior world champion's situation.

''From a commonsense perspective, only Driouch and those closely connected to him would be aware of a sanction,'' Davies said. ''It is highly unlikely that Farah, or any other athlete or coach would have been aware until such time as the IAAF officially published Driouch's sanction in the public domain. The problem raised here reflects directly on Driouch rather than Farah.''

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