The Court of Arbitration for Sport has upheld an appeal by the International Association of Athletics Federations that doubled two-year ban on Kenyan marathon runner Rita Jeptoo.

Rita became the first high-profile athlete of Kenya to fail a test after she tested positive for the performance-enhancing drug Erythropoietin (EPO) in 2014. The ruling means Rita forfeits her 2014 Boston and Chicago Marathon titles. Jeptoo is now banned until 30 October 2018 and has also been fined 15,000 Swiss francs (£12,396) as a contribution to the legal fees and expenses of IAAF.

The CAS ruling, which came on appeal, means a possible end of Jeptoo’s running career. In its verdict, the CAS said it has doubled suspension on the athlete and declared all of her race results from April 2014 onward null and void, effectively stripping her of a number of wins, including the 2014 Boston marathon. The CAS verdict further reads that Rita has to forfeit any of the associated titles, medals, prize money and appearance money.

The IAAF had appealed that the CAS extend a two-year ban imposed by Athletics Kenya in January, 2015. The CAS said doubling the length of the original ban was justified as the panel had been comfortably satisfied that there are aggravating circumstances surrounding the case. Athletes can be banned for a period of four years over a first offence if there are aggravating circumstances. It was ruled by the CAS panel that it was obvious to it that Rita Jeptoo used EPO as part of a scheme or plan and cited evidence including her long relationship with the unidentified doctor and multiple visits to see him which she hid from her manager and coach. The ruling stated the “undisputed source” of the red blood cell-boosting hormone was an injection by her doctor. The CAS panel also criticized Rita for deceptive and obstructive conduct throughout the proceedings.

The former coach of Rita is currently facing criminal charges in Kenya. He is accused of providing Jeptoo and another athlete with banned substances although CAS said that Jeptoo hid her EPO use from her coach and manager at the time. The former manager of Rita is also facing doping charges, although they relate to him allegedly providing two other athletes, not Jeptoo, with banned substances. Coach Claudio Berardelli and manager Federico Rosa, who are both Italian nationals, have denied the charges.

Jeptoo, one of most successful runners in Kenyan history, was all set to be crowned World Marathon Major Champion for 2014 but the ceremony was called off soon after news of her failed test emerged. She was due to earn a $500,000 US bonus for leading the World Marathon Majors series standings for the combined 2013 and 2014 seasons and won back-to-back Boston and Chicago titles in 2013.

The 33-year-old remarked she may have been prescribed banned substances at a local hospital after a road accident.

Jeptoo spoke last week about her plans to make a return to the competition once her initial ban of two years expires. Noah Busienei, Jeptoo’s partner, remarked on Wednesday they were expecting that the punishment might be extended after the International Association of Athletics Federations appealed what it felt was a lenient ban imposed by the Kenyan track federation. Busienei remarked they had said they would add two years and she was aware of that and further commented there is no other avenue available to appeal the decision and we shall decide the way forward.

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