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Kenyan distance runner, Rhonex Kipruto, has been suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for an athlete biological passport (ABP) anomaly.

Kipruto has been notified of the charge and is provisionally suspended. The ABP detects irregular blood values measured over time without an athlete testing positive for a banned substance.

The 23-year-old holds the current 10K road world record with his 26:24 Valencia performance from three years ago when he was just 19 years of age. His half marathon best is an incredible 57:49 from Valencia 2020, 11 months later. His half-marathon record makes him the third fastest man all-time behind Ugandan Jacob Kiplimo 57:31 and 57:37 and fellow Kenyan Kibiwott Kandie 57:32

Kiruto won a bronze medal at the 2019 Doha World Athletics Championships, also at age 19, with his 26:50.32 performance.

Doping in Kenya

Kenya’s sports minister, Ababu Namwamba, looks to criminalise doping in athletics to end the scourge that is wreaking havoc in the sport of athletics.

Namwamba told BBC Sports Africa, “Right now, the Kenya Anti-Doping Act of 2016 is not, in my view, sufficiently loaded to deal with this challenge with the force required.”

Approximately 40 athletes were suspended in 2022 and currently, at least 60 athletes are serving bans. Kenya is experiencing the most suspensions for doping-related charges in the world. Russia, in comparison, is banned as a nation and perhaps that is what Kenya needs. The East African was on track to be suspended, however, the World Athletics Council decided to monitor the East African country with a $25-million dollar (USD), five-year plan. So far it is not working. This is the second announcement of a suspension in two days.

*Featured image: World Athletics Championships – Doha 2019 – Men’s 10,000 Metres Final – Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar – October 6, 2019, Kenya’s Rhonex Kipruto celebrates winning bronze REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo