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    As announced on Tuesday, March 21, New Zealand marathon record holder Zane Robertson was banned for eight years from all sport by the New Zealand Olympic Committee. He tested positive for erythropoietin (EPO) the blood booster in May 2022. Robertson was given a longer ban than usual for apparently providing false documentation in his defence.

    Robertson and his twin brother Jake made news at the age of 17 when they left New Zealand for Kenya to train, with their parent’s blessings.

    In 2016, Zane Robertson claimed that he received death threats while living in Kenya and subsequently moved to Ethiopia.

    In an article in the New Zealand Herald it quotes him saying he received death threats. The Herald reported that specific threats were made around Robertson having a tractor tire put on him and to light it on fire. This is a torturous South African thing called “necklacing.”

    The Kenyans wanted to kill him becuase of his apparent stance on drug cheating.

    The scientific community would have a field day with the implication that twin brother Jake Robertson could also have also used performance-enhancing drugs. Looking at the comparison below from their personal best times over the same distances and the years that they happened certainly shows the same performance level. In fact, they share the Oceania record for the 10K road run done at different events two years apart at 27:28. Also, their half marathons and marathons are nearly identical with the marathons at seven seconds apart at 2:08:26 and 2:08.19, respectively.

    They are both currently 33-years-of-age.

    DistanceYearJake RobertsonYearZane Robertson

    With Zane’s career now done, and a dark shadow looming over his entire career, what does this say about any performances by Jake Robertson, if he continues?

    Currently, Kenya has the most drug bans in the sport of athletics in the world. While Russia has a doping ban for systematic doping, Kenyans have the most for independent doping. In contrast, Ethiopia — just as much of a powerhouse in middle and long-distance running — has very few doping suspensions.

    Perhaps Zane Robertson may want to lift the lid on any organized doping that could be going on in either country.

    Surely, there will be more to come from this.