High drama ensues in Kenyan athletics community

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Kenyan Abraham Kiptum, the former world half-marathon record holder, has been provisionally suspended from competing due to an adverse finding in his Athlete Biological Passport (ABP). He was due to race the 2019 Virgin London Marathon. The suspension was announced by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).

He is the third East African athlete to be suspended via the passport since the ABP program was launched.

His best was 58:18. He broke the previous record by five seconds. Eritrean, Zersenay Tadese set it on March 21, 2010 at 58:23 in Lisbon.

The 29-year-old Kiptum, ran his 58:18 in October, 2018 at the Valencia Half Marathon.

Fifty-nine minutes has been bettered just 24 other times by 19 athletes since January 16, 2006 when Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie ran 58:55 in Tempe, AZ.

Tadese is the only athlete to do it three times.

The provisional suspension is not necessarily the final news on the ban, as it is worded as “provisional” meaning:

A Provisional Suspension is when an Athlete or other Person is suspended temporarily from participating in any competition or activity in Athletics prior to a final decision at a hearing conducted under the IAAF Anti-Doping Rules or the Integrity Code of Conduct.

Elsewhere, Asbel Kiprop has been suspended for testing positive for EPO.

The 1500-metre specialist is a three-time World Track and Field Championships gold medallist and earned gold during the 2008 London Olympics. He was awarded the gold medal after the winner, Moroccan, Rashid Ramzi, tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

On social media, Kiprop threatened to take his own life in a plea for help and what he referred to as justice.

On May 2, 2018 it was reported that Kiprop tested positive for EPO during a Nov. 2017 test, confirmed by the AIU. He has been banned for four years, which will make two months shy of his 34th birthday when he returns.

He wrote, “I pray to National Police Service to dismiss me now, before I use their machinery to earn myself justice. IAAF come take your medals.”

The police constable was later taken into custody and counseling will be sought.

His 1500-metre personal best is 3:26.69 from 2017. He is the third-fastest at the distance all-time with the fifth-fastest performance. Morrocan, Hicham El Guerrouj, has run 3:26.00, 3:26.12, and 3:26.45 while Kenyan-American Bernard Lagat has a best of 3:26.34.

Kiprop was caught in another saga.

In this apparent revenge video, Kiprop is seen groping and kissing his training partner’s wife. Apparently, it is Nancy Rotich Chepsiya, wife to Henry Rotich, who was rumoured to tell authorities of Kiprop’s apparent drug cheating.

After the video aired on YouTube Rotich was apparently hospitalized in Eldoret Hospital after a suicide attempt.

Meanwhile, the greatest all-time marathon runner, Kenyan, Eliud Kipchoge (2:01:39) is set to race countryman Wilson Kipsang (2:03:13) as well as Mo Farah (2:05:11) during the 2019 Virgin London Marathon.