IAAF Wants Doping Ban On Rita Jeptoo To Be Doubled

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has disclosed on its website (www.tas-cas.org) that the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the world governing body of athletics, wants to double the doping ban of two years handed out to Boston and Chicago marathon winner Rita Jeptoo.

In September, the Kenyan athlete failed an out-of-competition test in September for the blood-booster Erythropoietin (EPO). In the biggest drugs scandal to hit the East African country in recent years, the Kenyan marathon runner received a two-year ban from sports for the anti-doping rule violation. Her failed test resulted in the postponement of the awards ceremony for the 2013-14 World Marathon Majors (WMM) series. Rita Jeptoo was to collect the women’s series prize, including $500,000, after securing her World Marathon Majors series victory with a win in Chicago that took place on October 12, after the out-of-competition test.

Jeptoo denied doping and made an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport for the suspension to be lifted. Jeptoo, unless she can successfully appeal, will lose her 2014 Bank of America Chicago Marathon title and its $100,000 in prize money and the prize of $500,000 as winner of the 2013-14 Abbott World Marathon Majors Series. Rita Jeptoo would also become ineligible from making another appearance in the WMM series if she is found guilty of the doping offense. World Marathon Majors general counsel Nick Bitel remarked that under the athletes’ code of conduct for the series, anyone found guilty of a doping offense that carries more than a ban of three months is disqualified from ever taking part in the WMM series.

On its website, CAS disclosed that the IAAF had requested that the period of ineligibility for Rita Jeptoo should be increased to four years, due to aggravating circumstances which it argues warrant an extended period of ineligibility. It was disclosed that Jeptoo has asked the CAS to set the suspension aside and lift the two-year suspension so she can resume training and participate in IAAF competitions during the CAS proceedings. The CAS said both appeals were currently in progress and being conducted in accordance with the Code of Sports-related Arbitration.

Rita Jeptoo was banned by Athletics Kenya from all competition until October 29, 2016 which includes the 2016 Olympics and 2015 World Championships following an adverse analytical finding for recombinant EPO. The ban on Rita Jeptoo, winner of the last two Boston and Chicago marathons, was reportedly backdated to October 30, 2014. The suspension that was imposed by anti-doping commission of Athletics Kenya was the minimum mandatory punishment under international anti-doping regulations in place when Rita Jeptoo was caught in an out-of competition test last year.

Edna Kiplagat of Kenya, who is all set to get the World Marathon Majors winner-takes-all $500,000, said if you take something like EPO, which is injected as a professional athlete, it is obvious you know what you are putting in your body. Kiplagat, the two-time women’s marathon world champion, also remarked her positive test has made it very difficult for us and also remarked that we keep on being asked about doping every time we go to compete out there.

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