If the two athletes indicated below end up with suspensions, Kenya will have a record year of 52 suspended athletes for doping or doping-related issues including anomalies in Athlete Biological Passport (ABP). That’s one per week.
Since the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has been able to conduct out-of-competition testing in Kenya, the number of positive tests has skyrocketed. Since the Athletes Integrity Unit was created, provisional suspensions have increased globally.
Apparently, the long arm of the law is finally catching up with the dopers.
From Inside the Games
Another top Kenyan marathon runner has been suspended for four-years, after being found guilty of doping, and two teammates are also facing sanctions following positive tests.
Sarah Chepchirchir, who was provisionally suspended in February by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), has now been officially banned because of abnormalities in her ABP, which is usually evidence of abusing erythropoietin (EPO).
Chepchirchir has previously been a training partner of 2016 Olympic Games marathon Jemima Sumgong, her sister-in-law, who is currently serving an eight-year drugs ban, under Italian coach Federico Rosa.
The 35-year-old’s ban has been backdated until April 11 last year and all her results from that period have been wiped from the record books.
Chepchirchir’s most notable performance came in 2017, winning the Tokyo Marathon in a personal best 2 hours 19min 47sec.
She had also set a course record at the Paris 20K in 2013, covering the 20 kilometres distance in 65min 03sec.
Chepchirchir’s other personal bests included 68:07 for the half-marathon and 31:39 for 10km.
She represented Kenya only twice in major international competitions, with a best performance of fifth in the half-marathon at the 2011 All-African Games in Maputo.
Nearly 50 Kenyan athletes are currently suspended for doping offences.
The latest runners to be provisionally suspended by the AIU are Mercy Jerotich Kibarus and James Kibet.