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Thirty-four-year-old Kenyan marathon runner, Marius Kipserem, received a three-year ban for recombinant erythropoietin (EPO) use. EPO is a banned blood booster.

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said Kipserem had twice denied doping, before then admitting his guilt on October 11.

A four-year ban was reduced by one year due to his admission of guilt. Perhaps, if he tested positive, they shouldn’t have asked a third time.

Additionally, the suspension is backdated to September 22, when he was initially provisionally suspended.

Kipserem’s marathon personal best was 2:04:04 from Rotterdam last year. His best half marathon is not even close in terms of performance level at 1:02:17 from Nairobi in 2013. Four times he has run Rotterdam, also finishing in 2:04:11 in 2019.

His agent is Frederico Rosa.

EPO is a synthetic version of erythropoietin and improves athletic performance by producing more red blood cells at a rate that a human cannot do naturally.

Kipserem is the third pacer from the group of athletes who helped Eliud Kipchoge run the marathon time trial in under two hours. The other two are Alex Korio (58:51, whereabouts failures) in July and Philemon Kacheran (2:05:19, testosterone).

Incidentally, one of Kipchoge’s favoured pacers, Sammy Kitwara (2:04:28, Terbutaline), was suspended at the end of 2019.

Kipchoge is so proficient and talented that world-class pacers need to dope to pace him to his world record times of 2:01:39 and now he has run 2:01:09.

Kenya has the most suspensions of any country in the sport of athletics save for Russia, which is under a national ban for systematic doping. World Athletics needs to ban Kenya now. A loose count suggests as many as 60 and perhaps 70 Kenyan athletes are suspended.

The number of suspensions is greater than many national teams entire entourage attending Olympic Games and World Championships.

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