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Zerfe Wondemagegn

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has provisionally suspended Zerfe Wondemagegn of Ethiopia for testing positive for Erythropoietin (EPO).

The 21-year-old earned the African 3000m steeplechase silver medal. She was the youngest ever Ethiopian athlete to represent her country at the 2019 Doha World Athletics Championships at the age of 16. She finished eighth at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and fourth at the 2023 Budapest World Athletics Championships.

Wondemagegn also broke the Ethiopian U20 3000m steeplechase record with a time of 9:16.95 which makes her the fourth fastest on the World U20 all-time list.

Wondemagegn clocked a 9:04.61 performance at the (Florence) Firenze, Italy Diamond League meet in June this year. It is her personal best.

EPO is a hormone that causes your body to make red blood cells and is on the World Anti-doping Agency banned list. It is one of the most commonly used performance-enhancing drugs used by endurance athletes.

Blood booster hormones are all the rage

From Reuters News — Oct. 5:

Saudi Arabian middle distance runner Wesam Nasser A Alfarsi has been provisionally banned after testing positive for darbepoetin at the Asian Games.

A Alfarsi, who finished last of 12 runners in the 3,000m steeplechase last Sunday, became the second Saudi runner, and the sixth athlete overall, to be banned at the Games.

The International Testing Agency, which is running doping tests at the Games, said A Alfarsi had been given an out-of-competition test on Sept. 29.

Ethiopian distance runners, Shume Tafa and Mengistu Bekele, were notified of testing positive for banned performance-enhancing drugs.

The two have been suspended for 18 months and four years, respectively.

The 23-year-old Mengistu tested positive for EPO on Dec 11, last year in Ethiopia.

Shuma, age 31 tested positive for 5-methylhexan-2-amine, on March 26, 2023. Also known as a dietary supplement and diuretic, the drug has killed users when mixed with other drugs.

Shuma owns a marathon best of 2:11:13 run in October 2022 in the Netherlands. Bekele has run a 10,000m as fast as 29:03.

Jamaican sprinter Ronald Levy

On Friday, Nov. 3, hurdler Ronald Levy was notified by the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission that he failed an out-of-competition test taken in September. Apparently, it was for GW501516, also known by the brands Endurobol or Cardarine. It helps improve recovery rates.

Levy finished third in the 110-metre hurdles at the 2020 (2021) Tokyo Olympic Games. He claims that he did not knowingly breach any rules and was awaiting the results of his “B-sample.”.

“I am stunned at the turn of events because I have always conducted myself with the highest level of integrity in the sport, which I love dearly and would never seek to gain an unfair advantage,” he shared on IG.

Seven Ethiopian athletes are under investigation

Back in June, there were apparently seven Ethiopian athletes currently under investigation for breaching doping rules, according to the Ethiopian Anti-Doping Authority back in June. Their names may come to the fore soon.

Mekonnen Yidersal, director general said that the runners tested positive for performance-enhancing substances in samples taken from in-competition tests.

Four of the seven are under investigation by the National Anti-doping Authority, according to Mekonnen. The other three are by the AIU.

The outcomes of the cases, which are apparently in the final stages, will be made public soon.

It is not known if Shuma and Bekele were of the seven.

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