© Copyright – 2015 – Athletics Illustrated
Kenya’s fastest active female marathon runner, Rita Jeptoo, has been suspended by Athletics Kenya for two years. She has the opportunity to appeal the case; therefore, the $500,000 that she initially won during the two-year overlapping annual competition, the World Marathon Majors, is being held back and has yet to be redistributed to the rightful winner.
The World Anti-Doping Agency recently announced in their new anti-doping code that first time suspensions can now move from two years to four years. Also, WADA can use discretion of leniency towards an athlete who tests positive for performance enhancing drugs or have anomalies in their Athlete Biological Passport if they provide information about drug cheats, which can include doctors, agents, coaches and other athletes.
The new code came into effect after Jeptoo tested positive, so may not apply to her situation. And she may have provided Athletics Kenya with a good volume of information about her circumstances, which may have provided her with just the two year sanction. Some of this information is not yet clear.
She is the two-time winner of both the Chicago and Boston Marathons and had run the fastest active time in over a decade with her 2014 Boston performance of 2:18:57. Boston does not count as an official record because of its net drop of greater than 1m per km and it being a point-to-point course, which on wind-aided days, would be considered wind-aided for most of or for the entirety of the race.
Both of her A and B results tested positive for EPO. At first she denied wrong-doing and blamed a doctor for treating her for malaria; a go-to, red-flag excuse commonly used by East Africans.
On Tuesday, the International Association of Athletics Federations suspended nine more athletes, eight from Kenya and one from India for six months to eight years, they are: Julius Kiprono Mutai, Elizabeth Chelagat, Flomena Jebet Chepchirchir, Philip Kandie, Emily Perpetua Chepkorir, Stephen Kibet Tanui, Alice Ndirangu, James Maunga Nyankabaria and India’s Sethi Kethi for eight years.
Today the Russian Anti-Doping agency named two of their athletes that have received sanctions, they are Yulia Zaripova who faces losing her gold medal from the 3,000 steeplechase that she won during the 2012 London Olympic Games.
The Russian anti-doping agency banned Zaripova on Friday for two years and six months. The suspension was backdated from July 2013, which leaves her eligible to compete in next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Zaripova’s results will be annulled for parts of 2011 and 2012 dates which include her gold medal, but not the IAAF World Track and Field Championships gold medal from Daegu 2011. Tatyana Chernova is also sanctioned; she won the bronze medal in the 2012 London Games in the heptathlon.