In December, the Athletics Integrity Unit suspended a number of athletes for doping-related charges. The organization shared the list over Twitter, which includes a number of athletes from South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, Russia and Kenya.

The range in suspension times is two years to eight years. It was Kenyan Michael Njenga Kunyuga and Russian Karamasheva Svetlana who effectively had their careers ended as they received the longest terms. Kenya and Russia have the first and second most doping cases out of all countries.

Michael Njenga Kunyuga banned for eight years

Kenyan Michael Njenga Kunyuga was handed an eight-year suspension by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for the use of the prohibited substance Nandrolone as well as tampering.

Njenga was punished for lying to anti-doping officials following his provisional suspension in August this year.

The 36-year-old tested positive at the 2022 Riga Marathon in Latvia, where he finished second. He tested positive for Nandrolone (19-nortestosterone).

Karamasheva Svetlana

Karamasheva Svetlana from Omsk, Russia was caught for blood doping and the finding was triggered by anomalies in her Athlete Biological Passport. The middle-distance athlete was suspended for eight years.

Svetlana raced all distances from 600m to the marathon. Her best performance was in the 1500m event, where she clocked a PB of 3:59.61 in June 2012 in Moscow. She had no other performances over any distances close that performance. In fact, her other annual bests were eight seconds or more off that mark. The next fastest happened two years later where she clocked 4:08.35. All of her best performance took place in Russia.

As the eight-year statute of limitation nears for athletes who competed in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, re-tests will be happening and as happend four years before with London Olympic test results it is likely many more suspensions will be handed down.

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