Zohar Zemiro was the first Israeli athlete to book his place at the 2012 Games, but he seemed destined to miss out on the London Olympics after failing a drug test.

However, he was given a huge break in June when the Anti-Doping Committee of Israel court settled for a one-month suspension and a reprimand when it seemed all but inevitable that he would have to watch the Games on TV.

The 35-year-old, who qualified for his first Olympics after running the Amsterdam Marathon in 2:14.28 hours in April of last year, tested positive for Terbutaline at the start of June, an illegal substance usually found in asthma inhalers.

Zemiro pleaded guilty but explained that he has suffered from asthma symptoms for some years and a small amount of Terbutaline must have entered his body without his knowledge.

Due to the circumstances of the failed test, the court decided to allow Zemiro to run in London, with the one-month suspension being served in the time that passed since it was revealed he tested positive.

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“This has been the most difficult time of my life,” Zemiro said after hearing the news. “I’m happy that this hell is behind me.”

Zemiro’s preparations for London were derailed for almost a month while he was awaiting his verdict and it would be miraculous if he manages to finish in the top 20 as the Olympic Committee of Israel hopes.

Considering the ordeal he has endured, simply participating in the Olympic marathon is triumph enough.

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