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Thursday 27, Oct 2016

  Ban On Rita Jeptoo Doubled

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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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Tuesday 03, Feb 2015

  Rita Jeptoo Banned For Two Years

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Athletics Kenya has announced that Rita Jeptoo, winner of the Boston and Chicago marathons, has banned for two years after she failed a drugs test.

The 33-year-old marathon runner from Kenya, a three-time winner of the Boston Marathon and two-time winner of the Chicago Marathon, tested positive for the blood-boosting drug Erythropoietin (EPO). Both her A and B samples tested positive. Erythropoietin is a protein hormone that is produced by the kidney and has the ability to stimulate the production of red blood cells in the body when released into the blood stream. EPO is commonly used by long-distance runners and cyclists to increase the oxygen carrying capacity of the body.

Jeptoo, in her defense, said the banned substances may have originated from a drug that she prescribed to take by a local hospital after a minor road accident. The samples of Jeptoo came from an out-of-competition event in Kenya on September 25, a few weeks before the Chicago race.

Jeptoo won the Boston Marathon three times. The Marathon Queen set Boston’s course record in 2014 with a time of 2 hours, 18.57 minutes and she also won the Boston Marathon in 2006 and 2013. Jeptoo coupled her Boston Marathon 2013 and 2014 wins with Chicago Marathon titles in each of those falls.

Jeptoo has been suspended from all forms of competition up until October 29, 2016 that rule her out of the world championships in Beijing this summer and the Rio Olympics the following year. Financial rewards associated with winning the 2013/14 World Marathon Majors have already been rescinded.

According to a statement from Athletics Kenya (AK), Jeptoo will miss out on the Rio Olympics. It was remarked that Athletics Kenya would like to confirm that it has suctioned Jeptoo for two years effective from October 30, 2014 to October 29, 2016 follow the results of sample A and B sample having used the prohibited substance EPO. AK president, Isaiah Kiplagat said, that is the end of this case and we are now looking forward to working with the government’s Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya in partnering to fight doping in our sport.

The coach and agent of Rita Jeptoo will not be sanctioned. With the doping ban, the marathon champion will be be stripped of her titles and earnings in the period under review and will also lose out on the 500,000 U.S. dollars World Marathon Majors series jackpot she won after conquering back-to-back victories at the Boston and Chicago marathons in 2013 and 2014.

Wilfred Bungei, the retired Beijing 2008 Olympics champion, said our runners should not take the short route to success and he hopes this will serve a lesson to those who want to follow in her path to stop using drugs such as EPO which are deliberate since they are injected. Wilson Kipsang, the former world marathon record holder, said it wasn’t good news especially to athletes who have been running at the top with good times and added it is  something government should go deep and intervene to ensure it doesn’t happen again because it doesn’t portray a good image to our country.

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Sunday 23, Nov 2014

  Kenyan Politician Seeks To Criminalize Doping

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Kenyan Politician Seeks To Criminalize Doping

Kenyan marathon-star-turned-politician Wesley Korir has remarked drastic action should be taken against doping cheats. Korir announced plans to criminalize doping and said heavy actions are the only way to put a stop to a worsening sporting crisis in his east African nation.

Korir, a Boston marathon champion in 2012, remarked his own investigations had reveled evidence of a big supply of drugs being provided by a cartel of people among the east African nation’s distance runners. Korir’s announcement comes in the wake of the shock revelation last month that Kenya’s Rita Jeptoo, the world’s current top female marathon runner, tested positive for the blood-boosting drug Erythropoietin (EPO) during an out-of-competition anti-doping control. Korir, now an elected MP, said unless we put in place a law to criminalize doping, we will have lost and added the legislation may include lifetime bans and fines for athletes and jail for doctors who administer performance enhancing drugs.

Wesley Korir also remarked this is the right time to introduce this bill which he hopes will be passed by the national assembly. He also said the negative publicity the scandal has caused on Kenya is huge and we are not prepared to tarnish the integrity of Kenya. Korir also commented that the supply of banned substances in Kenya was widespread and added there will be a tendency of some of athletes being tempted to dope with them being pushed to run faster times. He also accused sport bosses of Kenya, including Athletics Kenya, of having done absolutely nothing despite a string of positive tests among athletes from Kenya in recent years. Korir remarked they continue to live in denial and they do not want to accept the reality that the issue is so serious. He also said the system is so corrupt and added the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) should open a testing laboratory in Kenya to safeguard the process.

The 2012 Boston marathon champion said currently there is no law that forces any athlete to give up information on who is providing them with drugs. He added they need to be made to give the names of the suppliers and we need to have a law that if you give an athlete drugs, you should be put in jail. He also remarked criminalization will create a lot of fear among the athletes and they will think twice about cheating in the first place and it will also force doping offenders to cooperate with doping investigations.

Korir also said he will be introducing a bill in Parliament to criminalize doping in Kenya to athletes, agents, or doctors that assist athletes dope. Korir added he will soon be meeting with officials from the Professional Athletics Association of Kenya (PAAK), a new athletes’ group in Kenya chaired by Wilson Kipsang, reigning London Marathon champion.

Wesley Korir won the 2012 Boston Marathon with a time of 2 hours 12 minutes 40 seconds. The long distance runner who specializes in road running competitions had previously won the Los Angeles Marathon in 2009 and 2010.

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Tuesday 11, Nov 2014

  Husband Of Marathon Champion Accuses Her Of Long-Term Doping

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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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Monday 03, Nov 2014

  Kenyan Marathon Champion Fails To Clear Preliminary Doping Test

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Rita Jeptoo, winner of the Boston and Chicago marathons for the past two years, has tested positive for a banned substance, according to the World Marathon Majors that represents the world’s six most prominent marathons.

The 33-year-old Jeptoo won back-to-back titles at the Boston Marathon, where she set the course record on April 21 in 2:18:57. She won the Chicago Marathon on October 12 in 2 hours, 24 minutes, 35 seconds, which was her fourth straight major marathon victory. The Kenyan runner presently leads the World Marathon Majors series. Jeptoo is by far the most prominent runner from Kenya to have failed a doping test. She won Boston marathon three times and Chicago marathon twice. Jeptoo failed a doping test a few weeks before she won her second consecutive Chicago Marathon, her agent and national federation said.

Jeptoo’s agent Federico Rosa said the athlete tested positive in an out-of-competition test in Kenya in September. The test was conducted on September 25 and the athlete’s “A” sample “indicated the presence of prohibited substances”, said Athletics Kenya. The athletic governing body of Kenya added it was disappointed to announce that we have received communication from IAAF that Rita Jeptoo failed a test.

The medical and anti-doping commission of Athletics Kenya will meet with the athlete early this week to find out whether Jeptoo wants to have her backup “B” sample tested. Jeptoo’s agent however remarked the backup test was not required. Rosa added we will legally go after the person or the people that convinced Rita to do this and added Jeptoo’s management had “nothing to do with” any doping. In a statement, the IAAF remarked it was not in a position where it can confirm or deny Jeptoo’s positive doping test. The IAAF said the case remains in the confidentiality phase although that should be lifted within the next week.

Earlier Friday, the World marathon group said it had postponed the awards’ ceremony that was scheduled for Sunday due to the positive test. The group said no athlete can win the World Marathon Majors Series title who has been in breach of IAAF anti-doping rules. Jeptoo was to receive a check for $500,000 for winning the World Marathon Majors after the New York City Marathon. George Hirsch, chairman of the board of New York Road Runners, said the stakes are so high and added it is far more money than almost anybody in that country could earn in a lifetime while referring to the temptation to use banned substances in a country such as Kenya.

On Jeptoo’s positive test, marathon world record holder and former world champion Paula Radcliffe said it shows that testing is being carried out and added maybe at least this time it comes before the (World Marathon Majors) payment is made.

Her coach Claudio Berardelli said the doping test failure of Jeptoo is indicative of a larger problem in Kenya. Berardelli, who has coached Jeptoo since 2012, said it is bad for the reputation of the sport in that country. Berardelli added if the story of Rita can be the key to open the door of the dirty system, please let Rita pay for it.

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Thursday 16, Dec 2010

  Olympian Eddy Hellebuyck admits doping

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Olympian Eddy Hellebuyck admits dopingAmerican runner and Olympian, Eddy Hellebuyck, has admitted to doping during his career, according to a report by Runner’s World magazine.

Hellebuyck said that he began using EPO, the blood-booster, in 2001 at the age of 40.

Hellebuyck was banned for a period of two years in 2004 after testing positive for EPO in an out-of-competition drug test.