© Copyright – 2019 – Athletics Illustrated

For the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), January has gotten off to a quick start and we are not talking about running speed, but the rate of which they are sanctioning athletes.

The latest include Kenyan Alfred Kipketer for whereabouts charges announced on Jan. 14, Michelle Lee-Ahye from Trinidad and Tobago. The appealable decision on her two-year suspension started April 19, 2019. There is Ukrainian Katerina Tabashynk who is suspended for testing positive for Hydrochlorothiazide. She received a 19-month suspension dating back to March 28, 2019.  Al Mahjoub Dazza of Morocco tested positive for a prohibited substance correlated from measures in his Athletics Biological Passport.

Interestingly the Qatar Athletics Federation and its athlete Mousab Balla got themselves into trouble as Balla was caught in possession of a prohibited substance. The QAF had appealed and lost. The four-year suspension started on June 6, 2019.

All of this after the shocking news that Wilson Kipsang, for world record holder in the marathon was suspended for whereabouts failures as well as sample manipulation.

Kipketer is a 23-year-old Rio Olympic finalist in the 800m event. Concern is that Kipketer was winning international races as a teenager and he may have – there is no proof yet – been doping.

He has already run as fast as 1:42.87.

For Lee Ahye, the World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal suspended for two years as she missed three tests over a 12-monh period. The sprinter finished sixth in the 100 and 200m event at the Rio Olympics. Her bests are 10.82 and 22.25.

Twenty-five-year-old Tabashnyk is a former heptathlete who now specialises in the high jump event. Her best is 1.96m.

Dazza is a Moroccan marathon runner. He set the national record at 2:05.26 in Valencia two years ago. He finished the 2019 Prague marathon in the time of 2:05:58 and last December won the Fukuoka marathon in the time of 2:07:10.

There are approximately 50 Kenyan athletes now not permitted to compete due to doping or whereabouts failures or ABP anomalies. Five athletes from Kenya over the previous five weeks have been suspended.

Is it time for WADA to look at banning Kenya?

Is it time for the World Anti-Doping Agency to look at suspending agents and coaches when several of their athletes are sanctioned?