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Taiwan, China runners drugged

TAIPEI, China, June 7- Three marathon runners from Taiwan and China allegedly had their drinking water spiked with "date rape drug" Rohypnol while in Iran, their team and Taiwanese media said Tuesday.

Taiwanese runner Kevin Lin was hospitalised along with two Chinese team mates Bai Bin and Chen Jun on Monday after the incident, the organiser of his trip said.

"The runners are fine now after hospital treatment and the Iranian government is investigating the incident," the Home Expedition said in a statement, without elaborating.

Taiwan’s CTI cable news channel, which is covering Lin’s trip, quoted a local hospital as saying that the trio were drugged with Flunitrazepam, better known as the powerful sedative Rohypnol.

It added that a disgruntled former employee was suspected of drugging the three.

Lin, dubbed the island’s first ultra marathon runner, won the RTP (Racing the Planet) four deserts championship in 2006, considered a top global endurance competition.

He set off for the "Running the Silk Road" challenge in Turkey in April in a 10,000-kilometre (6,213-mile) six-country journey along the ancient trade route that is due to end in the city of Xian, northwest China, in September.

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