Husband Of Marathon Champion Accuses Her Of Long-Term Doping

Kenyan marathon champion Rita Jeptoo, who is under suspicion of using Erythropoietin (EPO), has been accused of long-term doping by her estranged husband. Jeptoo, dubbed the Queen of Chicago, has been provisionally suspended from competition.

Jeptoo, regarded as the world’s best female marathoner, failed an out-of-competition drugs test carried out in September just weeks before her most recent victory in the Chicago marathon. The 33-year-old has requested that her B sample now be tested. A three-time winner of the Boston marathon and a two-time champion in Chicago, Jeptoo is the biggest name in Kenyan athletics ever to have been tested positive.

Noah Busiene, Jeptoo’s estranged husband, has produced written allegations of the marathoner runner’s doping dating back to early last year when the two were going through divorce proceedings. Busienei had knowledge that Jeptoo resorted to use banned drug hormone which increases the red blood counts, according to an April 2013 letter from his lawyer to Jeptoo. It was also disclosed by the letter that Noah was willing to take the necessary step by revealing, disclosing, or unleashing the doping dossier to Athletics Kenya and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) unless she offered a financial settlement to Busienei. Busienei’s lawyer Rioba Omboto confirmed the authenticity and date of the letter.

Busienei said he feels very bad for what has happened to Rita but he saw it coming. Busienei added he believed Jeptoo began doping in September 2011 after a foreign agent advised her to take banned drugs with a promise to make the couple “very rich”. The letter pre-dates Jeptoo’s 2013 and 2014 victories in Boston and Chicago. The Chicago and Boston marathon victories gave Jeptoo enough points to secure the $500,000 winner’s check for the 2013/2014 World Marathon Majors series. However, her “A” urine sample taken during an out-of-competition drug test in Eldoret tested positive and the World Marathon Majors presentation ceremony scheduled for New York on November 2 and the payment were postponed indefinitely.

Wilson Kipsang, the winner of the 2014 London and New York City Marathons and the male winner of the World Marathon Majors series, said the positive A sample of Jeptoo had put credibility of some elite athletes who post good times while competing clean to doubt. Kipsang, president of the newly formed Professional Athletes Association of Kenya, added he is hopeful that the Kenyan government will investigate deeply and if there is a cartel involved, let it be broken for the sake of athletes.

Federico Rosa, who has been Rita Jeptoo’s agent for three years, and her coach, Claudio Berardelli, denied having anything to do with her failed test. Both remarked they were cooperating with anti-doping officials. It is however surprising to note that the reputation of Federico Rosa has been clouded with controversy in recent years. In 2012, Mathew Kisorio, one of his athletes, tested positive for anabolic steroids and Jemima Sumgong, the training partner of Jeptoo, failed a drug test following the Boston Marathon in 2012 for Prednisolone. Sumgong received a ban of two years by Athletics Kenya but the decision was later reversed as the localized injection for bursitis was permissible under IAAF anti-doping rules.

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